Escalating Martha’s Vineyard property values may be a motive for murder.
Carole Cohen, sister of reclusive Vietnam vet Roland Nunes, wants ex-cop J.W. Jackson (Dead in Vineyard Sand, 2006, etc.) to look into some vandalism when her brother’s the target of nocturnal troublemakers. Nunes was a sniper and decorated hero who went AWOL. The authorities never caught up with him, and his sister doesn’t want the police involved. Their property is owned by a trust that gives Roland the right to live there in his lifetime, but the trustee, their realtor cousin Sally, is anxious to sell. Could she have hired some thugs to scare Roland off? Armed with night glasses and camera, J.W. scares off an intruder who’s about to poison Roland’s cat. He gets some pictures but is stun-gunned by the intruder’s partner when he catches up to them. Roland has been having an affair with beautiful, promiscuous Melissa Carson, whose mother’s neighboring estate also borders the land of wealthy Alfred Cabot, Melissa’s fiancé. The affair ends when Melissa is found murdered near Roland’s property. Nothing daunted, J.W. gives the thugs a dose of buckshot when they attack him and keeps digging until he finds out who wants Roland’s property and what the connection is to Melissa’s death.
Just enough island lore and recipes to please regional fans, leaving room for one of Craig’s better mysteries.