Newly single and far from home, Professor Molly Barda wants to focus on her job and stay out of trouble until she gets tenure at remote Mahina State University. But her life is upended when fast-food entrepreneur Jimmy Tanaka, founder of Merrie Musubis, makes a huge donation to Molly’s college, only to have the reception in his honor ruined by a grisly prank. Theater department chair Stephen Park (who happens to be Molly’s ex-boyfriend) can’t explain how one of his prop skulls ended up in the fruit tray, or why Tanaka himself has disappeared. Molly reluctantly steps in to help her exasperating ex. With the help of former crime reporter Patrick Flanagan and biologist Emma Nakamura, Molly tries to locate the missing Musubi mogul, only to find herself plunged into a stew of old grudges, whispered secrets, and murder. Along the way, Molly deals with a bottomline- obsessed dean, feuding colleagues, and the relentless assistance of Mahina State’s new Student Retention Office. She also starts to fall for Tanaka’s competitor, the too-good-to-be-true Donnie Gonsalves. Donnie seems to like her for all the wrong reasons?and has a few secrets of his own. The Musubi Murder is a wry and witty mystery that affectionately portrays small -town life and big academic egos in the most ethnically diverse state in the Union.
Professor Molly Barda, the narrator of the pseudonymous Bow's winning first mystery, is pursuing tenure at Hawaii's Mahina State University. The academic politics of Mahina are tougher than most, but Molly plays the game quietly until guest of honor Jimmy Tanaka, the owner of the Merrie Musubi fast-food chain and a potential major donor to Mahina, fails to show for a big reception at the school cafeteria. Molly unwillingly enters a search for Tanaka, and in the process finds herself falling for the man's competitor, Donnie Gonsalves, the owner of Donnie's Drive-Inns. Amid faculty grudges and unpopular student retention policies, Molly searches for the key to not just the missing Musubi mogul but a nasty killing. Bow, who teaches at a public university, uses wry humor to alleviate the horror of her heroine's situation and is familiar enough with island culture to know the popularity of Musubi rice balls with a heart of Spam.