Why Toby Neal Wrote Shattered Palms

Shattered Palms is the sixth in the best-selling Lei Crime Series, and it contains two things close to my heart: first, it’s a police procedural mystery centering around the poaching and extinction of the endangered native Hawaiian birds, a cause I’ve come to be passionate about through the conservation work of my husband, photographer Mike Neal.  Second, it’s the culmination of the subplot love story between my complicated cop protagist, Lei Texeira, and the man brave enough to want to marry her, Michael Stevens.

I’d planned to end the series with book 5, Twisted Vine, but when I got to the end of it I was crying so hard at leaving a couple I’d brought to life and fallen in love with, that I decided to continue… and do life with them through the challenges so many of us have faced: balancing career and relationships, issues around marriage and children, taking care of parents in ill-health, and other “real-world” complications. While solving mysteries and crimes. And, all set in exotic Hawaii. Which, you gotta admit, jazzes everything up a bit.

I know living here on Maui does that for me!

If this is the first book you read of my series, it can stand alone…but the series is best read in order, to see the love between Lei and Stevens go through the many challenges that lead to the dilemma at the heart of Shattered Palms.

Twitter: @tobywneal
Shattered Palms book link:

About Shattered Palms:

Maui is lush mountains, cloud forest and exquisite birdsong—but for Detective Lei Texeira, arrows break that peace.

Someone is stalking poachers that are capturing Maui’s rarest birds, and Lei pursues the case with her usual leap-first, look-later style—but will she be able to catch a killer, save the birds, and still make it to her own wedding? Shattered Palms is a roller coaster ride from the top of Haleakala to the beach and back again, with extinction at stake.
“Toby Neal creates a captivating balance of the beauty of the islands contrasted with the ugliness of murder, and complicated by the trials of Lei’s personal life. A must-read for Neal fans.” Thomas K. Matthews, author of Rejection.

Author of the Lei Crime Series:
Blood Orchids
Torch Ginger
Black Jasmine
Broken Ferns
Twisted Vine
Shattered Palms
Stolen in Paradise
Somewhere on Maui

My thanks to Toby for stopping by!

Perilously yours,


Pauline Baird Jones


Perilously romantic fiction for armchair adventurers


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