Live Hawaii

Hawaii Stuff

Fiction Books Set in Hawaii – Murder at Volcano House

Murder at Volcano House: A Surfing Detective Mystery
by Chip Hughes

Where to buy: Amazon
Price: $14.95

This is only the second book I have reviewed, on this blog, and it’s by the same author…Chip Hughes. The other book, in the surfing detective series, is “Kula”. This book “Murder at Volcano House” takes private investigator Kai Cook to the Big Island, specifically to Volcanoes National Park.

As a favor to attorney friend Tommy Woo (a man of many lawyer jokes), Kai agrees to protect the former CEO of a Geothermal company returning to the Big Island to attend the funeral of a former employee. Decades ago, Rex Ransom drilled in the Sacred lands of volcano god Pele causing much controversy and protest.

Ransom’s wife, Donnie, believes that her husband is a target since two former employees have died mysteriously at the hands of Pele…or did they? Kai believes the threat comes from a human source but is shocked when he sees a young woman in a red dress (a common Pele guise) shortly before Ransom is found dead at the bottom of a steam vent.

Who dunnit? Pele herself? There are plenty of human suspects…Ransom’s ex-wife, Ransom’s bitter former partner, a protester who attacked Ransom in the past, an escaped mental patient who fancies herself as Pele’s younger sister Hi’iaka.

Follow Kai as he travels from Oahu to Hawaii Island to Kauai. There’s also a side case he is working on involving a fatal crash on the Pali Highway. Kai also tries to help a girl, at the lei shop below his office, who is being terrorized by an ex-boyfriend.

Even with all the action, the surfing detective needs to catch some waves. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve never been to the islands or have lived in Hawaii all your life, Chip Huges does a masterful job of expressing the island vibe whether it’s China Town, Volcanoes National Park (visited myself this year!) or Hanalei.

About the Author
Chip Hughes began surfing, in San Diego, during the late 60’s. In 1981, he earned a Ph.D., in English, from the University of Indiana. Hughes taught at the University of Hawaii for nearly 30 years before becoming a full time writer.

The surfing detective mystery series began in 2004 with “Murder in Moloka’i” (I read it!) followed by “Wipeout!” in 2007 (I read it!). “Murder at Volcano House” is the fourth book in the series of six planned volumes.

Spouting Horn – A Natural Wonder of Kauai

On the Koloa district on the southern coast of Kauai, you will find the Spouting Horn…a majestic blowhole and one of the best photo ops on the island. I live on Oahu, have been to the Halona Blowhole many times and have never seen anything except crashing surf! The Spouting Horn put on quite a show shooting water 50 feet, into the air, again & again & again…

The view deck is kind of small and it can get crowded so some patience may be needed as you wait your turn. Bestest thing: free parking and restrooms! There is also a covered flea market, with local vendors, selling everything from Hawaiian type gifts to fine jewelry. I’ve been told (don’t quote me) that you can find the best prices, for genuine freshwater pearls, here!

Across the road is the McBryde Garden & Allerton Garden which is acturally two botanical gardens Allerton – 80 acres and McBryde – 50 acres. They received good reviews from Yelp and Trip Advisor but we skipped them since it was raining.

Back to the Spouting Horn. I came across a wonderful story about the origin of the Spouting Horn as told by the late Uncle Louis Almodova Jr. (Da Mayor of Salt Pond):

The Legend of the Spouting Horn is about a lizard family, consisting of a brother and two sisters. The three left their homeland for a swim. After they swam a long way they spotted two islands. The closer one was named Niihau and the farther one was named Kauai. The brother could see that, although far away, Kauai was beautiful and lush. He wanted to go and visit Kauai, but the sisters were too tired and wanted to rest. So they decided to stay where they were on the beach on the island of Niihau and let their little brother explore.

The brother headed off toward the island of Kauai. He swam and swam. As he got near Kauai he could see beautiful green mountains in the distance. After a while he got tired and decided to land as soon as he could. He came to rest at the old Koloa Landing and waited there for his sisters. He waited a long time, but they never arrived.

He was lonely and being that they didnt come, he swam back to Niihau and went looking for them. When he landed on Niihau he searched and searched. All he found were two large rocks, boulders really, near where he had left them on the beach. At last he realized that the two large rocks were all that was left of his sisters.

Sadly he swam back to Kauai. He cried and he cried, and when he got near Koloa Landing he was caught by a big wave that pushed him along the shore. He missed Koloa Landing and passed Kukuiola Bay and then was shoved by the wave under a lava tube just short of Lawaii Kai. He has been trapped there since. Whenever the waves come back you can hear him moan and see his breath bursting from the lava tube at Spouting Horn.

Don’t believe? See the video below:

Olino by Consolidate Theaters – Luxury in Kapolei!

 Yeah, yeah, I know Olino “By Consolidated Theaters” opened way back in October of 2016. It was a month later before I made it out to Kapolei, to watch “Fantastic Beasts” and check out the new luxury theater with power recliner seats. I do have a seven-year-old son so the family has have traveled to the Leeward Coast, more than a few times, to take in a new movie(s):

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them – Nov 18, 2017
Moana – Nov 23, 2016
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – Dec 16, 2017
Sing – Dec 21, 2016
Kong: Skull Island – Mar 10, 2017
The Boss Baby – Mar 31, 2017
The Fate of the Furious – Apr 14, 2017
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – May 5, 2017
Wonder Woman – Jun 2, 2017
Pixar’s Cars 3 – Jun 16, 2017
Despicable Me 3 – Jun 30, 2017
Spider-Man: Homecoming – Jul 7, 2017
 I like that you can order your tickets and seats online so you don’t have to worry about arriving early for first come, first serve seating. The reclining seats are leather and very comfortable. You can vary the settings to find that perfect comfort zone for your body.

The seating layout is stadium style and there is plenty of space between patrons in front and behind you. My child had no problem viewing the screen even while in the supine position. There is also a food tray (with drink holder) that swings in and out.


There is a wide assortment of food items…not just the usual popcorn & nachos. There are different styles of burgers, hot dogs (Kim Chee Dog anyone?), pizza, local craft beer, wine, coffee (you gotta try the coconut latte) and tea.

If I’m hungry, I usually go for the Olini Burger which features a thick all-beef patty, caramelized onions, sharp cheddar, crispy fried onions and roasted garlic mayo. Of course, I have to save room for hot buttered popcorn along with a mega sized soft drink.


What better place to have both a movie and dining experience than at Olino. My family has been here many times and we have never been disappointed. Good food, reserved seating…what more can you ask for? We also went to other luxury theater in Kapolei, Regal Kapolei Commons 12, but did not enjoy the seats or food as much. Protection Status