Books that “Shelldazzle”
Two new seashell-themed additions to local bookshelves
By some accounts, Sanibel Island is the seashell capital of the world, so it’s not surprising that seashellthemed books are commonly found on local shelves. Two such books hit the island in the past few months: A Shell of a Problem and Shellanguage. Jennifer L. Schiff, who divides her time between Sanibel and New England, has written the first in what she is calling the Sanibel Island Mystery series. She says it is the type of book she enjoys reading—a cozy mystery. A Shell of a Problem is also the first piece of fiction from this tech and financial writer.
Schiff has created a simple plot, with a decidedly island flair. When the star attraction—the so-called Golden Junonia—goes missing from the annual Sanibel Shell Show, local newspaper reporter Guinivere Jones is determined to find out what happened to it. The story gets more complicated when a chief suspect ends up dead. And then there’s just enough ro- mance involved to keep things interesting for Guin. A Shell of a Problem is quick and entertaining to read, made more fun because the author uses real places on Sanibel to tell the story, and the characters, while fictional, bear some small resemblance to various island personalities. On the other end of the spectrum is Shellanguage, written by local shelling enthusiast Pam Rambo. Rambo has devised her own humorous shelling “vocabshellary” and documented it in this slim volume, with beautiful photos and light-hearted drawings to illustrate each entry. From “abshellutely” to “Shellzam!”, Rambo defines more than 40 crazy shell words that all “cutie shellooties” will find “shellarious.” Both of these books aim to please the shell fanatics among us. Each should provide an amusing afternoon of beach reading … between shelling excursions. “Hasta shellvista.”