A Kayak for One by K.L. McCluskey
Owning and operating a cottage resort in a peaceful northern Ontario setting should be a piece of cake for a former police detective. Families should be happy to be on a vacation in rustic log cabins set among acres of old-growth pines along a vast shoreline of a clean lake ideal for swimming, boating and fishing. It should and they should, is what goes through the mind of this former detective turned resort owner every time a guest shows up and havoc reigns. Not only are the trees too sappy, too messy, too numerous, the mosquitoes and black flies are too many and too pesky, the cabins are too rustic with too few luxuries, with too few televisions (as in none) and too expensive, the other guests are too loud, too drunk, too close, too present, the air temperature is too hot or too cold or too windy or not windy enough, the lake is too cold or too rough, with too few pikerel and bass, the wolf howls are too scary and too close, the black bears are too smelly and too scary and too close, the water snakes too skittish and scary and too close, the garter snakes too, too, too close, the red squirrels and blue jays too chattery and bossy and too close, and the guests own families are too obnoxious, too stressful, too close. It’s enough to make the former detective turned resort owner want to head south back to a dark alley in the north end Hamilton to chase a criminal in a hoodie (always a hoodie), with a gun, who is too scary, too mean, too drunk, too stoned, too hilarious, too stupid, and too close. But instead, the former detective turned resort owner stays put and cleans toilets, cuts wood, sells gas, worms and ice, rents fishing boats and canoes and cottages, smiles at guests, and helps the local O.P.P. solve murder in the north on the resort, because every time guests show up, someone gets killed. What could go wrong when a professor and geology students rent a few cottages as a base for field work in the area? They’re educated young adults led by an experienced professor. Everyone could get along and hunker down and focus on the purpose of the trip, a 10 day advanced course, a study of the unique rock formations in northern Ontario. It’s near the end of the tourist season and relief from working long days for long weeks for long months is almost palatable for the former detective turned resort owner. How much work could the students be for the former detective turned resort owner? Will it be a peaceful end to the busy summer season…for a change? Will it end without a murder … for a change?
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