Shadows of a Down East Summer
Perseverance, Apr 4 2011, $14.95
In Weymouth, Maine, Great Aunt Nettie introduces her nephew Will Brewer and his girlfriend antiques expert Maggie Summer to Carolyn Chase, daughter of the artist Helen Chase. Carolyn read a published article that Maggie, a professor of American Studies, wrote on Winslow Homer. They look at the extended family tree as Carolyn explains she would like Maggie’s help with research on a bio she is writing about her late mom.
The next day Caroline tells the Weymouth Historical Society members and guests Will and Maggie that her Aunt Susan, who just died, gave her a trunk of documents from the late nineteenth century that said their ancestor killed his wife for cheating on him before committing suicide. Before she can bury her aunt, someone murders Caroline. Maggie calls the police and Detective Strait answers the call. While he investigates the homicide, Maggie looks back to what happened in 1890 that she believes led to the present murder. She begins to look closely at the relationship between Homer and two women who posed for him; while knowing she could be next.
This entertaining Antique Print regional cozy (see Shadows on the Coast of Maine) looks deeply into the late nineteenth century art world in Maine. The cast is fully developed and the whodunit fun, but it is the glimpse into Winslow Homer and his era’s art that makes for a delightful amateur sleuth.