Retired Jonas Duncan--formerly of LAPD's Homicide division--isn't terrifically engaging, as new sleuths go, despite his landscape painting, ecological conscience, and homespun lifestyle on an isle in Puget Sound. But, if he's pretty much a pale Lew Archer, his debut adventure--an ex-con is shot on a ferry before he can get to Jonas--goes beyond the usual Macdonald motives and tensions (money, sex, and money) to a downright Christie-derived last-page turnaround. Jonas beds down with a leading suspect, of course (despite ""A warning flash of no, this isn't fight!""), and there's the usual allotment of fisticuffs, slick real-estaters, and bodyguards--plus a severed head. Familiarities, first to last, but unfussed-over and a worthy stop-gap for the Macdonald-to-MacDonald hiatus.