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Penhallow-Scott pens intriguing tale of mystery at Coco Palms

There are titles of some books that make you want to read them. Here’s one:

“Murder with Aloha at the Coco Palms Hotel.”

If that doesn’t grab your attention and make you want to start turning pages to find out what’s going on, well, we can only hope you buy this book anyway.

It does not disappoint.

This fine fictional story based at this iconic resort was written by David Penhallow-Scott. He is one of Hawaii’s treasures, with connections that go back decades, knowledge of the Coco Palms that few possess and a delightful wit and charm that has him coming across as your best friend.

It’s a wonderful read. The plot jumps in from page one. Penhallow-Scott sweeps his readers into an intriguing tale from the first chapter.

Here is a brief description, courtesy of the author’s preface:

“Set in 1960 on the island of Kauai, this is a tale of grisly murders that take place at the legendary Coco Palms Hotel. These murders occurred days before Elvis Presley filmed ‘Blue Hawaii’ at the hotel.

“Coco Palms Hotel, as advertised in the Town &Country magazine, boasted a grove of a hundred coconut trees, a sandy beach, two swimming pools, sun in the winter months, and lots and lots of Hawaii atmosphere.

“I, Percy, the best, am the narrator of this tale. In this mystery I use real names: a few who worked at the hotel, Elvis Presley and his crew and four permanent residents of Kauai’s community. Most of the characters are made up, especially in the Hollywood personalities like megastar Little Russell and her guests.”

I love this concluding paragraph of the preface:

“Make yourself a tuna sandwich slathered with gobs of Best Food Mayonnaise, loosen your girdle, and put your feet up as you join me on a flight of imagination like no other, as we are headed to a place of tropical dreams, mystery and intrigue, and shocking secrets will be revealed!”

Penhallow-Scott is a gifted writer, a man who writes clean, engaging copy, and delivers a fun, compelling storyline. He has written “The Story of the Coco Palms Hotel,” and wrote the plays “The Eudora Quartet.” This four-play saga told the story of plantation life in Hawaii before World War II and the years that followed the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

First, there was “Bonzai Darling.” Next came “Emma’s Last Dance” in 2014. The third play was “Matilda’s Waltz” in 2015. And finally, “Going Home.”

The Hawaii-born writer and director grew up on Kauai and was a boy on Oahu when Pearl Harbor was bombed on Dec. 7, 1941, which left an impression that remains with him to this day. He lived here before moving to Hilo a few years ago. He is missed. He is a man with a wonderful sense of humor, but who is also deadly serious when it comes to his craft of writing, directing, and being one of the islands’ best ambassadors. Ask anyone who has worked with him. He earns glowing reviews for his insight, wisdom and dedication.

You can likely find this book at The Bookstore in Hanapepe. If not, give me a call. I have a signed copy I’m more than happy to share.


Bill Buley, editor-in-chief, can be reached at 245-0457 or
Source: The Garden Island

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