Monday , March 4 2024
A family tragedy, and a mystery.

Book Review: ‘Dare I Call It Murder?’ by Larry M. Edwards

In his new book Dare I Call It Murder?, Larry M. Edwards looks into the tragic loss of his parents and siblings on the high seas. What was supposed to be a once in a lifetime sailboat journey began in 1977, when the author’s mother, father, sister, brother, and a family friend departed Puget Sound for French Polynesia. The shock is acute when we learn that both of his parents died at sea some six months later.

As Mr. Edwards explains, the circumstances surrounding their deaths sounded suspicious from the start. In their official statements, none of the survivors saw a thing. The friend claims to have slept through it all, sister Kerry says she does not remember anything, and brother Gary made outrageously inconsistent statements about the circumstances of their deaths.

It is a little hard to believe that the authorities did such a horribly bungled job in investigating what sounds more and more like murder. I think anyone reading the book would have to conclude with Larry that his brother Gary is the likely culprit, but the deaths were ruled accidental.

I cannot imagine the pain of not getting closure even 36 years afterwards.

Dare I Call It Murder? really hit home for me, as we just suffered a death in the family. My sister died in her sleep, and I guess because she was not wealthy, we are still waiting for an official cause of death.

They knew James Gandolfini died of a heart attack within hours, but four weeks after her death, we are still waiting to hear the autopsy report. It is a terrible thing for a family to lose someone, but not being able to put it into any sort of context just makes it worse.

This is something that Larry Edwards is still clearly dealing with, and my heart goes out to him.

Dare I Call It Murder? won the San Diego Book Award in 2012 for Best Unpublished Memoir. It has since been published by Wigeon Publishing, and is available through retail outlets.

About Greg Barbrick

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  1. Thank you for reviewing my book. Much appreciated. Your readers might be interested in knowing that I will be in Seattle the second week of Sept. for appearances at Eagle Harbor Books, Third Place Books and Costo (Kirkland).
    More information available at:

  2. Mr. Barbrick, my heart goes out to you and your family not
    only for your loss of a loved one, but for the slow response from the
    authorities regarding how your sister died. Dealing with a death is
    traumatic enough, but that trauma is compounded by the often perplexing
    snail’s pace of institutional machinery. I hope this situation is
    resolved soon so you and your family can grieve without having to deal
    with any more bureaucratic foot dragging.