After the murder of a wealthy family, a girl is determined to find the killer and exonerate her father.
Pearl Haskins lives with her father in the tourist town of Tenney’s Harbor, Maine, where she works as a country-club waitress alongside her best friend and unrequited crush, Reese. Rich summer tourists descend upon the town, treating the locals as servants—but this summer is different. Six months earlier, all but one member of the wealthy Garrison family were murdered while they slept. Pearl’s father had been the substitute night watchman on duty, and, with the murders remaining unsolved, people blame him for the tragedy. Now her father’s business has dried up, the debt collectors are calling, and he’s turned to drink. When sole survivor Tristan Garrison and his friends show an interest in Pearl, she lets herself be swept into the world of the summer people, aiming to find out the truth and clear her father’s name—but getting too close may cost her everything. A lush summer atmosphere, class tensions, and complex romantic feelings all hit pitch-perfect notes in this slow-burning mystery. The final reveal may not be very shocking, but immersion in the world of small-town Maine and Pearl’s dangerous game of chess compensate. One tourist family is Indian; all other major characters are white.
An eerie, well-drawn mystery. (Fiction 14-18)