Haole WoodDee Detarsio’s writing never disappoints – and “Haole Wood” is no exception. Her first book, “The Scent of Jade” lured me in, “The Kitchen Shrink” solidified my love, and “Haole Wood” had me hooked from page one.

This chick lit with a twist dishes out murderous revenge, a splash of serendipitous ventures, and a light dusting of romantic intrigue.

Jaswinder Park is called to Hawaii to help her herbal healing grandmother, Halmoni, after she’s been arrested for drugs. Living her dream as a San Diego weather girl, Jaswinder films tomorrow’s forecast in advance and jumps on the next plane to the islands. Unfortunately, a freak storm hits and Jaswinder’s outrageously off-base forecast becomes the laughing stock of the station. Suddenly fired from her dream job and already in tropical paradise Jaswinder decides to stay in Hawaii for awhile.

With Halmoni out of jail and time on her hands, Jaswinder unwinds at a local bar where she’s photographed taking shots with a local real estate giant. It turns out to be the last photo taken of him before he’s murdered.

Accusations across the island frame the haole (Hawaiian for a white foreigner) and her drug-dealing grandmother. But the adventure of investigation, high fashion, and heart fluttering love are just beginning.

“Haole Wood” is best read with a large pour of a distinctly foreign wine: 2011 Bodega Belgrano Malbec. This rich-bodied red is thick with flavor. The complex notes of cherry and chocolate reveal themselves throughout the glass, step for step as the details of the island’s investigation unfold.

Chick lit and wine is an easy stocking stuffer: grab Dee’s latest novel with a bottle of Bodega and play Chica Claus to your best girlfriends. The holidays will be a little brighter with the islands in one hand and Malbec in the other.

xx,
Syrah