Sunday 22 November 2020




A wealthy socialite goes missing… a battered body is found in her abandoned cabin…

At the center of it all lies the witty and down-to-earth divorce lawyer, Toby Wong. How did she manage to get wrapped up in all of this…again?

All Toby wanted was to settle into island life and start working on her own love story—torn between the wealthy and charismatic Josh Barton, and the adorable and dependable detective Colin Destin.

But Toby’s romantic prospects take the back burner when her mom’s best friend, Daphne Dane, disappears. Toby soon discovers that Daphne’s latest boyfriend is both an alleged conman and the cheating husband of her newest client. Could he be behind Daphne’s disappearance? What about Daphne’s children, vying for their aging mother’s money?

When a dead body is uncovered that entwines both Colin and Josh with the Dane family drama, Toby begins to realize her own life may be in danger.

Equal parts cozy mystery and romantic suspense, the second novel in Elka Ray's Vancouver Island mystery series will keep you up late with a twisty tale of rivalry, love, money, and murder.

An okay murder mystery from author Elka Ray with Killer Coin. It's the second in her series featuring lawyer, Toby Wong after the first Divorce is Murder. In truth having enjoyed Saigon Dark from Ray previously, I was slightly disappointed by this one.

There's a murder and a missing woman and all sorts of family intrigue in this one, with a rich woman's grown-up children jostling for influence and money from their mother Daphne. They might not be the only ones, as new boyfriend, Stephen may be trying to fleece her as well. Not for long though, as he winds up dead, obviously murdered and Daphne goes missing. 

Toby gets involved, as her eccentric mother is a good friend of the family. The case itself and the way it unfolds is interesting enough. The murder victim could plausibly have been killed by either of the kids, one of their spouses, Daphne herself, Daphne's housekeeper or the dead boyfriend's angry Russian wife, by coincidence a client of Toby's and one who is initially seeking a divorce, before her husband gets all brown bread.

Large parts of the book, and this is where I found myself irritated, are given over to Toby's indecision regarding her love life. She has a sort of relationship with Josh, a former childhood sweetheart. He's rich, good looking and a bit self-centred. She's also seeing a police detective, Colin who is more down to earth and supportive, and a much nicer guy. Toby is seeing both, hedging her bets, unable to make a choice. I think it's difficult to read about relationships that are clouded by uncertainty when from afar the choice seems bleeding obvious and from a personal point of view, teenage angst-ridden years apart, I've been blessed by certainty when it comes to matters of the heart. 

The relationship dilemna is also clouded by discovering the corpse with one of the contenders and having it investigated, somewhat awkwardly by the other, alongside his sexy new partner. The presence of the gorgeous new detective adds a bit of tension to the book, with Toby becoming irrationally jealous and increasingly insecure.

After some twists and a few turns, additional incidents - physical attacks, a poisoning, a trip or two to the hospital, we get a resolution to the murder mystery, one which was a bit of a surprise, but which also made sense and we get a decision regarding Toby's love life.

Overall, it was ok, but not amazing. Maybe I'm being overly critical. I did like the Vancouver Island setting. There are some references to incidents in the earlier series book, but I think this one can be enjoyed on its own.

3 from 5

Read - November, 2020

Published - 2020

Page count - 276

Source - review copy courtesy of publisher Seventh Street books and Edelweiss - Above the Treeline

Format - ePUB read on laptop


  1. I know what you mean bout the whole romantic dilemma thing, Col. It doesn't sound as though there should be any dilemma, really, and that makes that sort of thing feel - is drawn-out the right term? - to me. Still, the Vancouver setting appeals! And family dynamics can be effective in a story. Glad you found some things to like.

    1. Probably more to like than not on balance, but not my perfect book I'm afraid.