#BookReview: “Scarlet at Crystal River” by Randy Overbeck


All Darrell Henshaw wanted was to enjoy his honeymoon with his beautiful wife, Erin, in the charming town of Crystal River on the sunny Gulf Coast of Florida. Only a pair of ghosts decide to intrude on their celebration. And not just any ghosts, the spirits of two young Latino children. Unwilling at first to derail the honeymoon for yet another ghost hunt, Darrell finally concedes when a painting of the kids comes alive, weeping and pleading for his help.

When he and Erin track down the artist, they discover the children’s family were migrant workers the next county over. But when they travel there, their questions about the kids gets their car shot up and Erin hospitalized. Torn between fear and rage, Darrell must decide how far he will go to get justice for two young children he never even knew.


Darrell Henshaw and his new wife Erin are flying to Florida to enjoy their honeymoon, and the last thing Darrell wants is for his “gift” to ruin their plans. But, of course, he can’t say no when the ghosts of two innocent children beg him for help. So with Erin and their new local friend Luis at his side, he digs up the past to find out what really happened to those missing, forgotten children.

What a wonderful book! This is the second mystery I’ve read from Mr. Overbeck and won’t be my last. He has such a unique way with words. I love reading his stories.

Darrell and Erin have a great relationship. They trust each other, and though Darrell does tend to keep secrets to protect her, he ultimately knows he’ll have to fess up. She’s his partner in all things.

I don’t often read books that focus heavily on social or political issues, but the issue in this book—the horrible treatment of migrant workers in the US—is something that’s important and needs to be addressed. Mr. Overbeck handled this hot-button issue with respect and care.

Anyway, Scarlet at Crystal River is a compelling mystery to dive into. You won’t regret it.

5 Stars

— I’d love to know what you think of the book or my review. Please comment below.

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