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by Philip R. Craig
Scribner, June 2007
256 pages
ISBN: 0743270452

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

JW Jackson is on his own; with his wife and two children visiting on the mainland, he is alone in their Marthaís Vineyard home. Because he is a little bored, he agrees to work for a woman who asks for his help. She says her reclusive brother, Roland, known as 'The Monk' to his neighbors, is being harassed at night at his home.

However, she refuses to go to the police and JW canít convince her to change her mind, so he agrees to spend one night on her brotherís property to see if he can catch anyone. While JW was only going to frighten the stalker away, he gives chase and is shot with a stun gun. Now itís personal and he is determined to solve this puzzle.

A body is found near Rolandís gate and the cops believe that Roland is the killer. JW does not think so; he investigates the murder, and continues to hunt for the stalker, even though the local police have politely asked him to back off. Sometimes, good intentions can have disastrous results.

JW and his family are like visiting with old friends each time a new book comes out. Perhaps it is because he lives in such a desirable location, where most fans of the books would dearly love to live; or maybe itís just because they are down to earth, homey and the mystery element is always intelligent and interesting.

Despite the difficulties of living as an average Joe in what has become a millionairesí paradise, we still envy JW for being so lucky. We see in this book, as in others, the effects of development run rampant and avaricious real estate buyers and sellers. The simple life is hard to find these days.

This is the 18th book in the long-running series of Marthaís Vineyard mysteries. Sadly, Philip Craig passed away in May of this year. However, he has left three completed novels to be published posthumously, including another Vineyard mystery with JW to be out in June 2008. According to the web site, another JW book was partially written and may, at some point, be finished by his family. Craig will be sorely missed by his multitude of fans, but he has left an impressive body of work for readers to enjoy.

Reviewed by Lorraine Gelly, June 2007

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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