A CASE OF VINEYARD POISON by Philip R. Craig

A CASE OF VINEYARD POISON

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Wedding bells loom for Boston-cop-turned-Martha's-Vineyard-fisherman J.W. Jackson and his girlfriend Zee Madeiras -- and so, it seems, does a dowry of $100,000 that's unaccountably turned up on Zee's ATM statement. The paper profit is gone days later, but when bank records indicate that Katherine Ellis, the dead gift J.W. finds in his driveway, had withdrawn $100,000 from her account days before she was fatally poisoned, the coincidence makes J.W. decide to investigate. What he finds is some excellent June quahogging, several dozen sociable bottles of Sam Adams (served with and without delish food), a tiny mystery involving a computer scam that baffles the bankers but is perfectly clear to a financial innumerate like J.W., and more fish stories than Moby Dick. Readers of J.W.'s five previous adventures (Off Season, 1994, etc.) have sometimes compared him to Spenser. But he's more reminiscent of Lilian Jackson Braun's Jim Owilleran, the barefoot philosopher gone New England primitive amid his atavistic millions. Like Qwill and his psychic cats, J.W. lazes through a pipe dream in which the 20th century's never happened.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1995
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Scribner