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VINEYARD CHILL: A MARTHA'S VINEYARD MYSTERY
by Philip R Craig
Scribner, June 2008
256 pages
$24.00
ISBN: 1416535586


Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

When a charming friend from the past comes to visit retired Boston cop JW Jackson on Martha's Vineyard, he brings along his own trouble; at the same time, a local friend contacts Jackson with a potential clue about a missing woman.

In this final volume in the Martha's Vineyard series by Philip R Craig (who died of cancer in May 2007), Craig immortalizes the beloved landscape of his island during that time of year when it belongs most to its year-round residents: winter. A retired Boston police officer, JW Jackson has come to learn a new way to live, appreciative of everything on Martha's Vineyard that makes it such a special place, including a family he never thought he would have.

JW holds his family and friends close, and when two friends (one a visitor and one a local) find themselves in trouble, JW is there to help ferret out the truth behind the troubles plaguing both men. The out-of-town visitor, Clay Stockton, is a charmer and adventurer. Along with his stories and charismatic ways, Stockton has brought along trouble. Two suspicious Californians have shown up on the island, and eventually Clay confesses that he's been involved in some shady dealings and that the men are out to find him. He needs JW's help to get rid of the men, giving him a chance at real happiness.

Just as JW begins sorting out the mystery behind the Californians (what they know and want from his friend Clay), another friend, Bonzo, a local man who works in a favorite Vineyard restaurant, has discovered evidence that points to clues about a missing woman. Bonzo rightly fears that the police will think the evidence implicates him because the woman worked at the same restaurant and he is known to have taken her bird watching at the spot where the evidence was found.

JW is a true friend to both men, and assured of their innocence, he works to uncover the stories behind both circumstances. Along the way, readers are invited into the world of JW and the wintertime delight of Martha's Vineyard, where everyone knows each other, and trust runs as deep as a love for the land. Indeed, author Craig's descriptions of Martha's Vineyard at a time of the year most tourists never experience is reason alone to read this book. Also touching is the introductory quotation, which seems to foreshadow Craig's own demise. Craig has left a lasting legacy to his love of Martha's Vineyard in his writing, and readers are sure to feel it in every page of this book, as well as the others in the series.

Reviewed by Christine Zibas, October 2008

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)


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