Author and playwright Victoria Kneubuhl returns with another thoroughly entertaining, yet complex, whodunit set in 1930s Hawai`i featuring the lead characters from Murder Casts a Shadow and Murder Leaves Its Mark. The pair of unlikely sleuths—part-Hawaiian Mina Beckwith and her fiancé, part-Samoan Ned Manusia—find themselves unraveling a deadly web of espionage and murder. As the story opens, Ned is in Japanese-occupied Shanghai, where he has been sent to rescue his friend Nigel, a British spy being ruthlessly hunted by the Japanese police. The action moves to Honolulu where Mina is embroiled with a group of eccentric artists whose numbers are being depleted in a series of dramatically staged murders. While Mina looks into the murders of the artists, Ned and Nigel attempt to ferret out a spy sending reports on the activities of the Navy at Pearl Harbor to the Japanese government. The two plot lines become intertwined as Ned and Mina are enmeshed in a dangerous net of international intrigue.
Like the previous novels, Murder Frames the Scene offers readers a fascinating glimpse into prewar Hawai`i, full of colorful local characters, descriptions of familiar places in another era, and a vivid sense of the islands as much more than beaches and palm trees.