THE SEA GRAPE TREE by Gillian Royes

THE SEA GRAPE TREE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A third round of trouble in paradise for sleuthing Jamaican bartender Shadrack Myers and his cohort (The Man Who Turned Both Cheeks, 2012, etc.).

The only thing that will rescue both Largo Bay generally and restaurateur and former innkeeper Eric Keller from a slow slide to penury, it seems, is the construction of a new, more expansive inn on the 9¼ acres owned by Meredith MacKenzie. Miss Mac is perfectly willing to sell the island parcel, and a possible source of finance obligingly appears in the form of developer Danny Caines, who’s made his money in American beauty parlors and shopping malls and is more than receptive to the idea of bankrolling the project. But even in Jamaica, nothing goes as smoothly as it might. Since the island site has neither electricity nor potable water, they’ll both have to be supplied somehow, inflating Eric’s original estimate of the costs. Danny’s head is turned by Janet, the 40-ish village seamstress and self-styled “champagne girl” who’s obviously just using him to get a green card. Then Sarah Davenport, a painter from Kent by way of London, is imported to Largo Bay by Roper, a fellow artist determined to get her to stop painting miniatures 4 inches square and open her eyes and canvas to the glories of Jamaica. Sarah, who has good reasons to be shy around men, catches Danny’s eye; Roper disapproves of her friendship with Danny; Janet, seeing her green card slipping away, darkly threatens her; and then she disappears, with no one but the gentle reader, and eventually Shad Myers, aware that she’s been kidnapped.

Not to worry: Shad and company will rescue Sarah before the worst happens, and her traumatic experience will enable her to start filling bigger canvases as Royes draws the curtain on the least satisfactory of Shad’s three cases.

Pub Date: July 1st, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-4767-6238-8
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: Atria
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 2014




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