Thursday, June 18, 2020
The Legend of Gasparilla and His Treasure by Carolyn Arnold – Book Review
Book: The Legend of Gasparilla and His Treasure
Author: Carolyn Arnold
Publisher: Hibbert & Stiles Publishing
Publication date: 16 June 2020
What a read and what a ride!
The Legend of Gasparilla and His Treasure by Carolyn Arnold is the third standalone installment in the Matthew Connor adventure series.
"You can't seriously be thinking that we'd hop on a plane in pursuit of a treasure that might not even exist."
Matthew grinned. "That statement pretty much sums up exactly what we do."
I've previously read The Secret of the Lost Pharaoh, which is the second book in the series, and loved it!
The book opens with archaeologist and adventurer Matthew Connor attending an exhibition that's meant to get people excited about his book series about his adventures.
The truth is Matthew is procrastinating the writing process and I loved how Arnold portrayed the procrastination process. As a writer, I totally related to Matthew then and there.
After the exhibit, Matthew is approached by a Professor Mel Wolf who claims he found an ancient diary by famed pirate Gasparilla. After much debate, Matthew agrees to Wolf's proposition and drags his friends Robyn and Cal along to search for Gasparilla's treasure.
"I expect you to succeed in securing this diary for me. Do we have an understanding?"
"Very good. do whatever you have to do. Kill whoever you have to."
As soon as they decide to embark on the journey, the trio and the Professor are attacked by armed men who chase them across Washington D.C., which makes the search for Gasparilla's treasure a personal matter for Matthew. Not to mention, going on a new adventure means delaying writing his book.
Here's a writing tip from Arnold and Matthew's editor ;)
"His editor, Riley Zimmer, had told him more than once, "People like danger, Matthew. It sells books. That's why thrillers are the number one genre out there."
Like its predecessors, The Legend of Gasparilla and His Treasure is narrated in several third-person perspectives, primarily Matthew's but the view point include those of Robyn and Cal as well as Detective Colin Doyle and the bad guy.
As Matthew and his friends head for Spain, we learn that there is some back history to Mel Wolf and the diary and that during the Washington chase a woman was killed in her bed by a rogue bullet, which brings into the story a Detective Colin Doyle.
One of the things, I liked about The Legend of Gasparilla and His Treasure is the character assembly. We have the trio from the previous books, some backstory to each, and we meet Daniel, who is the aide for Matthew's father but also a deep and well-connected character who may have been some kind of Special Forces agent at some point in his life.
Matthew's friend Cal is the constantly sarcastic one, offering tons of humor despite the evident and endless danger. I also felt that Cal and Robyn are more mature characters than Matthew, whose character flaw is impulsiveness, which puts his friends in danger. Still, the trio acts as each other's backbone.
I was a little confused by the names when it came to the pirates and their first mates. Each had a name or two. But that didn't stop me from enjoying the book.
"You are a dreamer, Matt. You really want to hop on a plane for Spain, on the word of man you just men, in pursuit of a mythical pirate's treasure? We don't even know where in Spain."
The scenes travel between the United States, Spain, Canada and I won't tell you where else but it's one hell of an amazing ride.
I could easily lose myself for a couple of hours reading The Legend of Gasparilla and His Treasure and an exhilarating couple of hours they were!
There are lots of flashbacks from the first book in the series City of Gold, a book I plan to read.
Overall, I loved Carolyn Arnold's The Legend of Gasparilla and His Treasure. The book is full of travel, adventure, wild chases, danger, mysterious people, and everything in between.
"When you set out after a legend, nothing is for certain, but we weren't left with much choice. As the saying goes, we were between a rock and a hard place. If we didn't try, Sophie was dead."
Oh by the way this series including The Legend of Gasparilla and His Treasure would make for a great movie!
Overall rating for The Legend of Gasparilla and His Treasure by Carolyn Arnold: 5 stars.
Note: I received an Advanced Reader's Copy (ARC) of The Legend of Gasparilla and His Treasure by Carolyn Arnold from its publisher Hibbert Stiles in exchange for an honest review.