Veteran sleuth Faith Fairchild (The Body in the Casket, 2017, etc.) finds other fish to fry when she vacations on Sanpere Island, Maine.
Despite the summer’s record-breaking heat, Penobscot Bay holds pleasures aplenty for Faith. There are porches to loll on, like the one at The Birches, her younger friend Sophie Maxwell’s family home; Bar Harbor rockers to admire; and lots and lots of family history to absorb, starting with learning Sophie’s much-married mother Babs’ five last names. Now that Faith’s best friend Pix Miller’s daughter, Samantha, is getting ready to marry Zach Cohen, there’s a wedding to plan, with all the attendant food and festivities. So when Faith finds a dead body in Lily Pond, she really doesn’t have time to think much about it except to notice an odd-looking tattoo on the young victim’s arm. The corpse gets pushed even further from the spotlight when Zach’s mother, Alexandra, comes to town and does her best to upend Pix’s carefully laid wedding plans. Pix, Faith, and Alexandra all enroll in a course on writing memoirs; Faith’s daughter, Amy, has an increasingly demanding job at the Shores, a local resort run by Dr. and Mrs. Childs; and the summer wears on and on. The dead body is barely mentioned for the next hundred pages, until a second, similarly tattooed corpse is found. Even then, Faith keeps her promise to husband Tom not to investigate, and the case solves itself when the killers push their greed a step too far.
When the heroine can’t summon much interest in the murder, it’s hard to imagine readers will either. This one’s strictly for fans of Down East local color.