"Much Ado About Nauticaling" By Gabby Allan: Review/Giveaway/Interview

Review by Cynthia Chow

This week we have a review of the first in a brand new series by mystery author Misty Simon writing at Gabby Allan. We also have a fun interview with Gabby/Misty about the new series. Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of the book and links to purchase it.

Much Ado About Nauticaling: A Whit and Whisker Mystery By Gabby Allan 

It’s only been a month since Whitney Dagnar moved twenty miles back to California’s Catalina Island to take over her family’s company Nautically Yours. As their grandparents adjust to retirement, Whitney and her brother Nick balance the duties between running glass-bottom boat tours on the Sea Bounder and her gift shop the Dame of the Sea. While Whit must tolerate negative Yelp reviews for those furious they weren’t able to see whales, she didn’t expect to give her clients the sight of the Chamber of Commerce Person of the Year floating by under the glass floor.

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Image Source Kensington
While Whit was never a fan of the wealthy Jules Tisdale, Nick has a more appreciative view of Jules’s much younger wife Tracy. As a result of an earlier aggressive confrontation between Jules and Nick, not to mention a non-existent alibi, Nick is quickly brought in for questioning and assumed by most everyone to be a top suspect. As shocked as Whit is to see her brother get hauled in for questioning, that doesn’t compare to seeing the man from the sheriff’s department who is doing the hauling. Whit had last seen Felix Ramirez when she not-seriously-but-seriously suggested his moving to Catalina Island with her, and his lack of an answer had her assuming that she was being ghosted. Her hurt feelings aren’t as important as proving her brother’s innocence, though, especially when Nick goes underground and stops answering her calls. As Whit discovers the black widow’s numerous plans to buy out businesses, contending heirs, and another competing gold digger, the protective sister is helped by her grandparents Goldy and Pops. Their extensive town connections will be as vital to her off-the-books investigation as visits to the local spa and salon, the most reliable source for gossip and a lot of eavesdropping.

This first in the series by the author (who also writes charming mysteries under the name Misty Simon), introduces readers to the eclectic, golf-cart filled, tourist-driven town of Catalina Island. Whit has strong family ties to the island and its residents, but that doesn’t mean that people haven’t changed or tried to escape. Having been abandoned by their father when she was six and by her mother after high school, Whit has an understandable fragileness and self-protecting instinct to reject before she herself is rejected. Thankfully, the initial miscommunication between Whit and Felix is resolved relatively early, but that doesn’t mean that she is willing to lower her defenses and risk being hurt again. Readers will be much more welcoming to Felix, whose dry humor and go-with-Whit’s-flow attitude makes him immediately likable and appealing. Whit’s own investigation has her spying from an increasingly large number of closets, and her best friend being a police dispatcher gives her another heads-up on the status of the murder. Whit has to prove her brother’s innocence, find the culprit before all of her suspects are themselves murdered, and keep her business afloat before her actual grand opening. The final reveal and surprising resolution will have readers eagerly waiting for their next tour with Whit and explore her locally-sourced gift shop.

Cynthia Chow is the branch manager of Kaneohe Public Library on the island of Oahu. She balances a librarian lifestyle of cardigans and hair buns with a passion for motorcycle riding and regrettable tattoos (sorry, Mom).

 Interview with Gabby Allan aka Misty Simon:

KRL: How long have you been writing?

Gabby: I’ve been writing since 1998, so wow, I do not want to do that math! LOL!

 KRL: When did your first novel come out? Can you tell us a little about it?
Gabby: My first novel came out in 2005 and it’s called Poison Ivy. It’s about a woman who inherits a costume shop in Virginia. She decides to uproot her whole life and leave California to start over again in a small town full of some amazing people and some murderous secrets!

KRL: What brought you to choose the setting and characters in your latest book/series? Can you tell us about it?

Gabby Allan
Gabby: I chose California and the island of Catalina this time for the new series because I’d written several set in small east coast towns and I wanted something I hadn’t done before. I thought about Lake Arrowhead. It was a beautiful setting but I wanted something with sand. And then I remembered vacationing on Catalina when I was younger and my absolute fascination with golf carts and a new series was off and running!

KRL: Why did you choose to go with a pen name for this series?

Gabby: Since Kensington had wanted them to be positioned more as a Rom Cozy, we thought it might be a good idea to move to a pen name to tell the difference between my more traditional cozies and these.

KRL: Interesting. I understand that you have started a podcast/YouTube channel as Gabby Allen, what inspired that and what are your plans with it?

Gabby: Oh! I love the podcast! I really wanted something where it was just like three people sitting around in a coffee shop, talking books. So it’s me, another author, and the listener, chatting it up. My hope too for this is to encourage people who want to write to go for it and to know that there are as many ways to do this as there are people doing it!

KRL: What are your future writing plans?

Gabby:  Hopefully more Whit and Whiskers Mysteries, as well as my paranormal mysteries that I’m doing under the name Misty Simon!

KRL: Where can people find you online as Gabby? 
Gabby: www.gabbyallan.com 

Amazon as Gabby Allan: https://amzn.to/3z0TzSm  

FB: https://www.facebook.com/GabbyAllanAuthor 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/gabbyallanspeaks/ 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20857229.Gabby_Allan?from_search=true&from_srp=true 

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/gabby-allan 

YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/channel/UC8ykfJR2bGgMgIBFM_zndRw

KRL: Anything you would like to add?

Gabby: I am so thankful that you all are doing this amazing thing for the writing community and thank you so much for letting me be a part of it! 

KRL: Thanks so much for the kind words! Thank you for being here with us.

To enter to win a copy of Much Ado About Nauticaling, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "much ado,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen September 18, 2021. US residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter. If entering via email please include your mailing address in case you win. If entering via comment please include your email address so we can contact you. BE AWARE THAT DUE TO THE CURRENT CRISIS THERE MAY BE A DELAY IN SHIPPING THE WINNING BOOK. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section in Kings River Life and in our mystery category here on KRL News & Reviews. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. And check out our new mystery podcast which features mystery short stories and first chapters read by local actors! A new episode went up this week.

You can use these links to purchase the book. If you have adblocker on you may not be able to see the Amazon link:

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. Love getting in on the start of a new
    series. Sounds like fun. thanks

  2. What a wonderful review!!! Thank you so much! Also, small world since I was born on Oahu and my aunt and cousins have been on the big island for over forty years :) Mahalo!

  3. Cute cover, sounds good! tWarner419(at)aol(dot)com

  4. What a fun sounding book. And I love the kitty cover!

  5. I love the cover and your information about the plot sounds interesting. Thanks for
    providing the insight into this book.


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