Plotting a Murder in Paradise
I write about the places and things I love best. In general, my Downward Dog Mystery Series will take be set in my favorite Seattle-area neighborhoods, but every now and then even a yoga teacher/sleuth needs to take a vacation. Which gives me the perfect excuse to take “research trips” to my favorite Pacific Northwest travel destinations.
The obvious choice for my second book, A Killer Retreat, was Orcas Island. My German shepherd Tasha, hubby, and I travel to Orcas once or twice each year, and we always stay at the Doe Bay Resort. At first, we went there for three-day weekends. Then three days became four, became five. Now, nothing less than a week will do. Doe Bay has slowly taken possession of most of our vacation days.
During the day, Tasha and I enjoy wandering the property among the deer, rabbits, and other wildlife. At night, we explore the same paths by flashlight and gaze at stars that shine brighter than any ever seen in Seattle. And the silence. Nothing at all can prepare you for the silence. It’s mesmerizing.
The clothing-optional hot tubs, on the other hand…
Like my yoga teacher/sleuth Kate, I’m not a fan of my thighs naked. I rarely go to the spa, even though my husband insists it’s the best part of the vacation. When he does somehow manage to talk me into joining him, I cover up with every towel in the cabin and huddle in the corner, hoping not to hear snide remarks about cellulite or suspicious-looking moles. Most of the time, I leave hubby to his soaking, stay in the cabin, and curl up with Tasha on the no-pets-allowed couch.
I’m not entirely sure why I love Orcas so much. It takes several hours to get there from Seattle, if you don’t count the two you spend waiting for the ferry. It’s hard to find vegetarian restaurants, unless you plan to eat three meals a day at the Doe Bay Café—which wouldn’t be a bad thing! And if you’re looking for a fun night on the town, well, the sidewalk starts rolling up about five.
Still, I’m unaccountably drawn to the place, in spite of my city-girl roots. There’s something magical about Orcas. Maybe it’s the tiny island in Eastsound that you can only access at low tide. Maybe it’s the sound of the rain pelting the rooftops; maybe the smell of the ocean. Maybe it’s the dozens of deer that graze outside the cabin that are tame enough to eat out of your hands.
Ten minutes after Kate arrives on orcas, she says that some day she might move there. I may very well join her. If you ever get the opportunity to visit this wonderful island, take it. But if you stay at the Doe Bay Resort, Tasha and I get dibs on our favorite cabin, Eden.
To mentally visit all of my favorite places on Orcas, read A Killer Retreat. If you stick with me for another book or two, you might get to go to Cannon Beach, Oregon. Until then, I’ll be back in Seattle, writing.
Tracy Weber is the author of the award-winning Downward Dog Mysteries series featuring yoga teacher Kate and her feisty German shepherd, Bella. Tracy loves sharing her passion for yoga and animals in any form possible. The second book in her series, A Killer Retreat, was published January 8, 2015, by Midnight Ink.
Tracy and her husband live in Seattle with their challenging yet amazing German shepherd Tasha. When she’s not writing, Tracy spends her time teaching yoga, walking Tasha, and sipping Blackthorn cider at her favorite ale house.
Visit her at TracyWeberAuthor.com