Maine’s Cranberry Island becomes a hot destination for treasure hunters when a sunken ship is discovered offshore.
It may be the Myra Barton, the missing ship of Cranberry Islander Jonah Selfridge, or, even more exciting, the Black Marguerite, the ship of 17th-century pirate Davey Blue. Either way, it’s a windfall for Natalie Barnes, owner of the Gray Whale Inn, who’s happy to get the business of two teams of rival archaeologists, both eager to explore the wreck. Carl Morgenstern and Molly O’Cleary from the University of Maine are unhappy at the arrival of Gerald McIntire, Frank Goertz and Audrey Hammonds of Iliad, a private treasure-hunting company. When McIntire is stabbed to death, the police blame Eleazer White, a local shipwright who threatened McIntire with his antique cutlass. Natalie is sure Eleazer is not guilty and sets out to prove it. But she has her hands full with all the people who are plying her with cranberry-laden goodies because she was lucky enough to get the job of judge for the yearly bake-off. All Natalie’s guests are suspects with the exception of a solitary food writer. Natalie gets some help from her fiancé John in checking out the dive site and a legendary pirate cave. Her sleuthing almost adds Natalie to the victims list.
The fourth in this pleasant cozy series (Murder Most Maine, 2008, etc.) highlights the glories of Maine, which this time include several recipes chock-full of cranberries.