African proverb: "It takes a village to raise a child". The novel Allawe, promotes the same concept: "All of us". When Marla Alexander finds a mysterious box of ashes washed up on a Delaware beach on the second anniversary of her mother's death, she is compelled to find its owner, a search that will take her and her husband Vern all the way to St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands. But the ashes are entangled with secrets that will result in Marla and Vern being stalked by Obeahmen, practicers of Black Magic, as they become involved not just in tracking down the owner of the ashes, but trying to solve a murder. Readers have found Fran Hasson’s first novel a nailbiter at times, but filled with warmth that emanates from the humanity of the main characters, Marla and Vern, and the Virgin Islanders who befriend them. In addition, the assortment of furry friends both at home and on the island will appeal to animal lovers everywhere. As Marla’s passion to return the ashes propels her forward into frightening circumstances, she also struggles to keep her marriage intact and come to terms with the death of her mother and their at-times strained relationship. The novel weaves themes of love, trust, perseverance, mystery, human weakness, fear, grief, and forgiveness into an astonishing setting. Complete with the tropical flavor of sights, sounds, and smells of St. Croix, the plot coaxes the reader into the world of the many memorable characters. The story begins and ends in Delaware at the beach. For those with the wanderlust, the visit to the tropical island may whet the appetite to hop on a plane and experience the laidback lifestyle of the Caribbean. Or it may make beachgoers in Delaware or anywhere in the world scan the horizon to see what the waves may wash in to liven up their lives. In any event, Allawe will appeal to everyone who loves to read a good mystery and to everyone who can appreciate the value of friends and family – all of us.