Rigged for Murder (Windjammer Mysteries)
Durbin House (2008)
Reviewed by for Reader Views (6/08)
Homicide Detective Brie Beaumont has taken a leave of absence from the Minneapolis Police Department. Brie is working through unresolved issues and nightmares from post traumatic stress since the death of her partner Phil.
“Rigged for Murder” is the first in The Windjammer Mystery Series written by Jenifer LeClair.
Within the first chapter I found myself engaged vicariously as I experienced the gale force winds and storm-washed deck of the Maine Wind as Captain John DuLac “fought to turn the ship’s rudder in the heavy seas.”
The captain and crew changed the course of the battered schooner and soon safely anchor in the harbor off the Coast of Granite Island, to wait out the storm’s fury.
Dinner aboard the Windjammer became a study in group dynamics as tensions built, passengers became edgy, and crew members voiced innuendos and insults at one another. Womanizer, Pete McAllister, bantered with flirtatious, Alyssa Lindstrom, until her husband, Rob Lindstrom exploded with jealously and threats. This storm created a new tension matching that of the storm still brewing outside the ship.
As LeClair skillfully introduced her cast of characters, made up of the ship’s crew and passengers, I found myself matching wits with Brie as I speculated, first on who would be the murder victim, and secondly who might be the most likely suspect.
A scream in the early morning hours brought the ship to life as Alyssa Lindstrom discovered the body of a murder victim. A disabled radio made it impossible to contact the Coast Guard. Detective Beaumont and Captain DuLac took charge of an investigation and soon moved the body to Granite Island. Long time friends of DuLac operated a bed and breakfast inn on the island and soon the investigation was transferred to the library of the lodge.
A thread of possible romance develops as Brie, smitten by John’s good looks, admires his strength and calm as he conquered the winds and waves of the sea, as well as the way he faced the crisis of a murder during his cruise. John in turn was impressed with Brie’s beauty, her mysterious demeanor and her expert way of examining evidence, interviewing suspects, and her strength of character.
A strong plot, non-stop action, and first-class character development combine to make this an exciting, page-turning adventure novel. Adding to the tension, intrigue, and mystery is the meticulous care in researching the details and terminology of sailing, lobstering, and the Maine coastal islands and communities.
I have added Jenifer LeClair to my list of “must read” authors and I am eagerly looking forward to the sequel to “Rigged for Murder,” another story of high seas adventure, murder, intrigue, and romance.