Teddy Creque (Sun, Sand, Murder, 2015) continues his Caribbean crime-fighting career by investigating the death of a doctor on Virgin Gorda.
It’s his fishing prowess, not his police valor, that persuades Royal Virgin Islands Police Force deputy commissioner Howard Lane to detail Teddy to Virgin Gorda to dispatch Dr. Michele Konnerth’s killer, a 100-plus-pound bull shark. But now that Teddy’s been promoted to constable and awarded the Queen’s Police Medal to boot, Lane is more inclined to listen to his subordinate’s concerns. So when Teddy offers the opinion that the shark had a human accomplice, the deputy commissioner gives Teddy a week away from his post on tiny Anegada to investigate what may or may not be a crime. It takes Virgin Gorda’s “belongers” a little time to warm to Teddy, but soon he and his Anegadian pal Anthony Wedderburn are supping on Mrs. Scatliffe’s excellent fish stew alongside Constable Tybee George and Station Sgt. Isaac Chalwell at the Virgin Gorda nick. Young Jemmy Jim Trengrouse is a different story. Unlike his garrulous parrot, Sir Winston Churchill, who greets Teddy with a raucous “It de fuzz,” and “Hide de kali,” the atypical 8-year-old offers only a few words a day, taking a walk each morning and spending the rest of the day sequestered in his room creating elaborate Lego replicas of famous landmarks. Getting Jemmy to warm to him is a matter of some urgency to Teddy, who’s convinced the boy has seen something on one of his morning rambles that will help solve the Konnerth murder. The slow progress of Teddy’s relationship with Jemmy and his quicker-paced courtship of Jemmy’s mother, Jeanne, are among the pleasures of Keyse-Walker’s second Caribbean excursion.
Although not as spectacular as his debut, the hero’s first outing as a full-fledged constable offers more than its share of adventure.