Murder Au Naturel

Mystery & Thrillers

By Allen Barlowe

Publisher : Llumina Press

ABOUT Allen Barlowe

Allen Barlowe
Allen Barlowe made his career on Madison Avenue and has pursued a lifelong passion for skinny-dipping.  He has enjoyed woodsy swimming holes, free beaches and naturist resorts from New England to California, Europe to the Caribbean.  On summer weekends -- when they're lucky -- he and his More...



Even without clothes on, nudists have secrets. Murder Au Naturel features Lee Spinacci, who has retired with his wife to an upscale nudist resort in Florida. Surrounded by a new community of people whose lives he is just beginning to understand, Lee discovers that things may not be what they seem. When he accidentally bumps into a dead body in the hot tub late one Saturday night, his life takes a new turn and sets him off on an adventure that includes his comely and unconventional female neighbor, a grumpy old police officer and a new outlook on life.

Skinny dipping is a lot of fun, and it gets us in touch with the more natural side of our lives, but for some people it also raises a host of uncomfortable issues. My desire was to explore some of these issues in a story that was both amusing and yet provocative.

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By Edward Morris
Allen Barlowe deserves a forest of upturned thumbs for daring to set his Murder Au Naturel (Llumina Press, 978-1-60594-507-1) in an upscale Florida nudist colony. After all, how much can one conceal while walking around naked? Former New York advertising executive Lee Spinacci and his wife Barbara have settled in as year-round residents at the cleverly named Xanadunes resort. Late one evening, Spinacci goes for a dip in the communal hot tub and discovers a corpse in the water. It’s not clear at first if the death is an accidental drowning or a murder. Whatever it is, Spinacci is quickly involved, chiefly through his being grilled by a dyspeptic local cop who’s pretty certain that everyone who dwells in this sybaritic outpost must be guilty of something. Complicating matters is Spinacci’s growing obsession—partly avuncular, substantially carnal—with his beautiful young neighbor, Ramona. What’s bothering her? Has she been participating in the orgies rumored to be taking place on the premises? Do they pose a danger to her? Spinacci embarks on his own investigation—and at considerable personal peril. Barlowe is detailed in his descriptions of the nudists and their sexual proclivities without crossing the line into pornography. But he comes delightfully close at times.