Tropical Scandal is the fifth book in the Pancho McMartin legal thriller series by David Myles Robinson. In this installment, Pancho is introduced to legendary Hawaii trial attorney Isaac Goldblum by his girlfriend Padma, a former medical examiner. Isaac is dying and asks Pancho to take on a case of a young man named Dayton who is accused of killing his grandmother Eleanor via Vicodin overdose. Isaac has represented Dayton in the past but cannot any longer. Pancho reluctantly accepts the case and what he finds is much bigger than a simple case of murder. Dayton, a simpleton who cannot read or write well, has been arrested before for small charges but Isaac has always gotten him off of the charges. As Pancho researches Dayton’s own extended family, what he finds is corruption on a higher level than he could have thought imaginable.
I have read several of the books in this series and they are all fantastic. David Myles Robinson’s characters are colorful and interesting. Pancho is likable as is his best friend and private investigator, Drew Tulafono. And of course, the beautiful setting of Honolulu, Hawaii is something that most people would not complain about.
Although Pancho knows that Dayton is a drug deliverer, he also knows that he must find out whom Dayton is working for to get down to the bottom of it all. He and Drew must also find a motive for the killing which proves to be more difficult than they think. Dayton has been raised by his grandmother who has always taken care of him, so why would he kill her?
While reading Tropical Scandal I felt the story was very well put together. There was definitely an island feel to the story because everyone knew one another. Pancho’s ability to ask the right questions while interviewing all of the players as well as his relationships with people on the island including the bank manager and other attorneys, help him to gather a messy set of clues. Drew goes above and beyond to dig for information as well. In the end, all of the pieces of the puzzle that Pancho and Drew collect fit together seamlessly, and the reader is left with a satisfying conclusion. The Pancho McMartin legal thrillers are entertaining and easy to follow. I would recommend them to anyone who loves reading a great mystery with a bit of action and humor thrown in.