The marina we keep our boat at in southern Florida has lots of palm trees, which gives it a nice tropical feel. Coconuts fall down from the trees and lie waiting for people to grab them, cut them open, and enjoy the coconut milk and flesh. Some of the dogs at the marina like them too.
I didn’t really think much about the coconuts until Hurricane Matthew threatened the area in 2016. One of the things that the marina staff did to prepare for the potential hurricane was to lop the coconuts off of the trees so that they wouldn’t go flying off in strong winds and cause damage.
It got me thinking that coconuts can prove hazardous even in normal conditions. If you happen to be walking under one of the trees when one of the coconuts falls off, it could be painful, maybe even deadly.
Coconuts inspired the setting of my cozy mystery series, which is set in a fictional small town in Florida called Coconut Cove. It’s a popular tourist area, but the locals have to warn visitors to be careful of falling coconuts, and, every so often, a tourist gets hit by one.
I decided it would be fun to work in falling coconuts into the plot of the first book in the series, Murder at the Marina. Everyone thinks that the main character, Mollie McGhie, got hit by a coconut, but she’s not so sure.