by Sylvia Dickey Smith
P.O. Box 1984
Friendswood, TX 77549
Trade Paperback, 252 pages, $16.95
Sidra Smart, divorced from her controlling husband of thirty years and present owner of the Third Eye Detective Agency, temporarily keeps her office at her Aunt Annie’s house, where she lives with her aunt and dog Slider. Sidra is reluctant to take on the case of Boo Murphy, a woman accused of murdering her neighbor. Sidra isn’t too sure Boo’s all there, as Boo claims to have seen an 18th century pirate schooner in the Texas swamp, and Boo doesn’t have the means to pay an investigator. But when Sidra sees the schooner for herself, she is intrigued and begins to look into the case, only to be warned off by her mentor and assaulted by unknown assailants. With the aid of her dog Slider, Sidra pursues her investigation, which leads her into the past, to the days of pirate Jean Lafitte and Mary Anne Radcliff, Lafitte’s partner and Boo’s ancestor.
Smith adds plenty of action and adventure to this installment of the Third Eye mystery series, with an interesting dose of piratical history and ghosts. Sidra Smart is an engaging character, a woman fiercely committed to her independence. She is beginning to find her place in life and isn’t afraid to stand up for herself, even against the bad guys. She’s smart and likeable, and many women will identify with her. Sidra’s dog Slider plays an important part, and Smith nicely weaves his abusive past into the story. This page turner will hold readers’ attention throughout as they follow Sidra’s growth as a woman and investigator.