Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Book Review: Death in the Off-Season by Francine Mathews

Originally this book was written and published twenty years ago in the mid-1990s. It's been completely upgraded with cell phones and contemporary CSI procedures, seamlessly.

Merry's father is the police chief and her boss. Her grandfather was also police chief. But the island of Nantucket is still wary of their first female police detective. And her father is so wary of perceived favoritism that she has to fight him to be assigned the island's first murder case.

Peter Mason moved to the island full-time a few years ago to start a cranberry farm. Before that his wealthy family had only been summer residents. One morning his brother, Rusty, shows up dead on Peter's property. He's been living in Brazil for the last decade with no communication from his family after he was nearly indicted for trading improprieties. Why did he come back? Why was he killed? Was it possible the killer thought he was Peter, and Peter's life is still in danger? The very first ever murder on Nantucket island must be solved and Merry must prove herself to her father.

The book wasn't overly fast-paced, but it moved along at a good clip. The characters were well-drawn the the island in particular (which I've been to) felt very authentic. It was a sturdy, reliable police procedural in a unique situation which flowed effortlessly and all came together well in the end. The author has written a new book in the series which will be published in the summer of 2017. Meanwhile the first four books in the series are being updated and reissued.

This book was published by my employer at the time, Soho Press.

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