BN.com Gift Guide

A Fatal Vineyard Season (Martha's Vineyard Mystery Series #10)

( 2 )

Overview

Martha's Vineyard is home to ex-Boston cop J.W. Jackson, his adored wife Zee, their toddler Joshua, and newborn daughter Diana. For others, the picturesque vacation spot is a relaxing escape from a world filled with trouble. But there is no escap for Julia Crandel and Ivy Holiday, two Hollywood actresses staying in the Vineyard town of Oak Bluffs. Their arrival has incurred the wrath of a pair of local gangsters, and a deadly stalker from out of the young ladies' past has found out where they are hiding. Twin ...

See more details below
Paperback (Mass Market Paperback - Reprint)
$7.99
BN.com price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (45) from $1.99   
  • New (6) from $2.27   
  • Used (39) from $1.99   
Sending request ...

Overview

Martha's Vineyard is home to ex-Boston cop J.W. Jackson, his adored wife Zee, their toddler Joshua, and newborn daughter Diana. For others, the picturesque vacation spot is a relaxing escape from a world filled with trouble. But there is no escap for Julia Crandel and Ivy Holiday, two Hollywood actresses staying in the Vineyard town of Oak Bluffs. Their arrival has incurred the wrath of a pair of local gangsters, and a deadly stalker from out of the young ladies' past has found out where they are hiding. Twin hurricanes are about to slam the idyllic island — one a natural climatic disaster, the other an all-too-human catastrophe — and it looks as if J.W. is going to get caught in the middle. And since his conscience won't allow him to abandon two frightened, helpless visitors to the fury of the coming storm, he stows away his fishing gear, sends his loved ones off-island ... and dives headfirst into the tempest.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Cleveland Plain Dealer
A compact, exciting adventure...Jackson is an appealing, fallible hero.
Florida Times-Union
Craig has a delightful, wry style... In addition to smooth plotting, he has a deft hand at characterization and zips up along.
Rocky Mountain News
The Martha's Vineyard mysteries are a breath of fresh air, with a touch of murder most foul.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Instead of taking it easy now that the tourist season is over, year-round Martha's Vineyard resident and handyman J.W. Jackson, who's a retired cop, comes to the aid of a starlet in distress in this tenth in a series (A Shoot on Martha's Vineyard, etc.). After his wife and two toddlers go to the mainland, J.W. gets a call from Betsy Crandel, whose house he watches during the off-season months. Her niece and a friend, both African-American actresses, will be vacationing on the island for a few weeks. The friend, Ivy Holiday--notorious for baring her breasts at the Academy Awards in protest of "the exploitation of women as sex objects in films"--has been receiving threatening notes from an inmate jailed for killing Ivy's roommate. Neither Ivy's attorney nor J.W. can figure out how the notes are getting past prison officials. Meanwhile, J.W. sees a more serious threat in racist, sexist Alexandro Vegas, who breaks into the Crandel house and tries to attack Ivy with a kitchen knife. Alexandro and his cunning brother Alberto, an ex-con, are running a protection racket on the island. As Hurricane Elmer takes its time deciding whether it'll turn toward the island, J.W. works on ending the Vegas brothers' hold on the area and on discovering the import of the dire notes Ivy keeps getting. Carefully plotted, the novel has a companionable, relaxed atmosphere that's laced with J.W.'s insights on everything from coastal living and fishing to fatherhood and human relationships. This is a good bet for any beach, on the Vineyard or off. (June) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Summer on Martha's Vineyard is waning and J.W. Jackson, his wife Zee, and their two small children are settling in for the winter. J.W. (A Shoot on Martha's Vineyard, 1998, etc.), once a Boston cop, will do his care-taking jobs for absentee house and boat owners—like caring for the Crandel house in Oak Bluffs, presently occupied by actresses Julia Crandel and her friend Ivy Holiday. Ivy is seeking relief from McKenzie Reed, the stalker now jailed in California for the killing of Ivy's roommate Dawn Dawson. No one can explain the letters that follow Ivy from him, despite strict prison surveillance. More immediate danger threatens in the looming shadow of the Vegas brothers—Alberto, who runs an ever expanding so-called protective agency, and brother Alexandro, who acts as his huge, violent, foul-mouthed enforcer. J.W. is glad Zee and the children are visiting grandparents on the mainland while he keeps an eye on Julia and Ivy, even though they're officially guarded by Boston's Thornberry agency. Events escalate as Hurricane Homer heads for the Vineyard; young policeman Larry, who annoyed Alexandro, is found beaten nearly to death; Julia and Ivy disappear, and the Vegas boat Invictus leaves its mooring with J.W. secretly aboard and a drama-laden ordeal to come. Eventful doings suffused with a rueful air and lots of J.W.'s homespun philosophy. The tension-filled finale makes it one of Craig's better outings.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780380732890
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/28/2000
  • Series: Martha's Vineyard Mystery Series , #10
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 299,872
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

Philip R. Craig grew up on a small cattle ranch near Durango, Colorado, before going off to college at Boston University, where he was an All-American fencer. He earned his M.F.A. at the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop. A recently retired professor of English at Wheelock College in Boston, he and his wife Shirley now live year-round on Martha's Vineyard.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

We had spent the night anchored up at the far end of Lagoon Pond and were heading back down toward the drawbridge at midmorning when I saw the big, blackhulled powerboat coming fast toward us, throwing a wide wake toward both sides of the pond. I don't like speeding powerboats, and I particularly don't like them when they're speeding at me. We were ghosting along in front of a small following wind and were in no shape to get out of anybody's way, so it was a relief to me when the boat curved off to our right and pulled smoothly alongside a dock on the Oak Bluffs side of the Lagoon. Beside the dock was a boathouse, and behind that was an embankment that was topped by a big, new house.

As the boat swept toward shore, I saw the swordfishing pulpit on her bow and then the name on her stern: Invictus. A moment later we were rocked by her wake, and Zee and I hung on to the kids until the waters quieted, making unkind comments about people who drove their boats the way the skipper of the Invictus drove his.

"You and your sister won't ever sail a boat like that, will you, Joshua?" Zee, holding Diana the huntress, who was hungry as always, looked at her firstborn, who was hooked in one of my arms while I held the tiller with my other.

Joshua shook his head. "No, Mom."

"Joshua isn't going to race stinkpots," I said. "He'll be a sailor, like his father. Won't you, Josh?"

Joshua, quick to catch on to parental biases, nodded. "Yes, Pa."

"Nice-looking boat, though," I said, looking at the Invictus as her skipper made her fast to the dock. She was a yacht, but with several features more typical of a fishing boat.

"I like a pulpit and atrawler hull," agreed Zee. "Too bad the guy doesn't know enough to keep his wake down when he comes in from outside."

We sailed slowly on toward the drawbridge under a fine fall sky. Labor Day was behind us, Martha's Vineyard was pretty much emptied of its summer people and its summer yachts, and Zee and I were on the last leg of an experimental test cruise to see how well we'd hold up with two little kids on board. We were amateur parents who had just begun to think we might survive Joshua when Diana the huntress had made her appearance, and we were right back at the starting line again. Still, it had seemed to us that the Shirley J. would be a good boat for kids; being beamy, she offered a good deal of room for her size, and because of the jiffy reefing system I'd installed, she was pretty easy to keep flat even in a breeze. Besides, catboats were pretty rough-and-ready vessels, and we didn't think the piles of gear that go with babies would do ours any harm.

And so we'd packed up and taken the little ones on their first cruise because you're never too young to go sailing and because Zee and I wanted to know if we were up to being a family afloat. We'd sailed from Edgartown to Hadley's the first day; then, the next day, we'd reached along the north shore of Naushon, had ducked through Robinson's Hole back into Vineyard Sound, and had pulled into Tarpaulin Cove for the night. Then we'd sailed back to Vineyard Haven, passed through the open drawbridge, and anchored far up in the Lagoon. And now we were headed home.

And we'd found out that we could, indeed, sail together, as long as we didn't mind tight quarters, for our little eighteen-foot Herreshoff, none too big for Zee and me even before we'd added Joshua and Diana to our household, was pretty stuffed with the essentials needed for children under two. One of the things that made the cruise possible was keeping some gear, and particularly the plastic bag full of used disposable diapers, in the dinghy we towed behind us. Without that dinghy, who knows what our feelings about family sailing might have been?

But we did have the dinghy and we were happy as we headed for home.

The drawbridge keeper opened his bridge for us, and we sailed into the outer Vineyard Haven harbor, then hooked to starboard, toward Nantucket Sound, rounded East Chop outside of the Oak Bluffs bluffs, and reached southeast, toward Edgartown.

As we passed the bluffs, I could see the big house that belonged to Stanley and Betsy Crandel up there at the top. It was one of the places I dosed up in the fall, opened in the spring, and kept an eye on in the winter. I also took care of boats, caught and sold fish, and did a little bit of a lot of things to supplement the small checks I got from Uncle Sam and the Boston PD as a consequence of having been blown up and shot while working for them earlier in my life. When I got home, I was scheduled to replace a leaky faucet at the Crandel house, in a bathroom off the kitchen, because a Crandel niece was coming in a few days for a short Vineyard holiday.

But that was later; this was now. Under light blue sides and over dark blue water, we headed down to Edgartown, tacked into the harbor, and made fast at our stake.

Zee buttoned her shirt and wiped Diana's mouth. "Home again, home again. Your girl child eats like a horse, Jefferson."

Like mother, like daughter. Zee, too, could eat like a horse and, much to the annoyance of her women friends, never gain an ounce. Moreover, it wasn't long after her babies were born that her belly was as flat as ever. It was quite unfair, said her friends. I thought it was just fine, but I doubted if Zee thought about it at all, any more than she thought about being beautiful...

A Fatal Vineyard Season. Copyright © by Philip Craig. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Read More Show Less

First Chapter

Chapter One

We had spent the night anchored up at the far end of Lagoon Pond and were heading back down toward the drawbridge at midmorning when I saw the big, black-hulled powerboat coming fast toward us, throwing a wide wake toward both sides of the pond. I don't like speeding powerboats, and I particularly don't like them when they're speeding at me. We were ghosting along in front of a small following wind and were in no shape to get out of anybody's way, so it was a relief to me when the boat curved off to our right and pulled smoothly alongside a dock on the Oak Bluffs side of the Lagoon. Beside the dock was a boathouse, and behind that was an embankment that was topped by a big, new house.

As the boat swept toward shore, I saw the swordfishing pulpit on her bow and then the name on her stern: Invictus. A moment later we were rocked by her wake, and Zee and I hung on to the kids until the waters quieted, making unkind comments about people who drove their boats the way the skipper of the Invictus drove his.

"You and your sister won't ever sail a boat like that, will you, Joshua?" Zee, holding Diana the huntress, who was hungry as always, looked at her firstborn, who was hooked in one of my arms while I held the tiller with my other.

Joshua shook his head. "No, Mom."

"Joshua isn't going to race stinkpots," I said. "He'll be a sailor, like his father. Won't you, Josh?"

Joshua, quick to catch on to parental biases, nodded. "Yes, Pa."

"Nice-looking boat, though," I said, looking at the Invictus as her skipper made her fast to the dock. She was a yacht, but with several features more typical of a fishing boat.

"I like a pulpit anen before we'd added Joshua and Diana to our household, was pretty stuffed with the essentials needed for children under two. One of the things that made the cruise possible was keeping some gear, and particularly the plastic bag full of used disposable diapers, in the dinghy we towed behind us. Without that dinghy, who knows what our feelings about family sailing might have been?

But we did have the dinghy and we were happy as we headed for home.

The drawbridge keeper opened his bridge for us, and we sailed into the outer Vineyard Haven harbor, then hooked to starboard, toward Nantucket Sound, rounded East Chop outside of the Oak Bluffs bluffs, and reached southeast, toward Edgartown.

As we passed the bluffs, I could see the big house that belonged to Stanley and Betsy Crandel up there at the top. It was one of the places I closed up in the fall, opened in the spring, and kept an eye on in the winter. I also took care of some boats, caught and sold fish, and did a little bit of a lot of things to supplement the small checks I got from Uncle Sam and the Boston PD as a consequence of having been blown up and shot while working for them earlier in my life. When I got home, I was scheduled to replace a leaky faucet at the Crandel house, in a bathroom off the kitchen, because a Crandel niece was coming in a few days for a short Vineyard holiday.

But that was later; this was now. Under light blue skies and over dark blue water, we headed down to Edgartown, tacked into the harbor, and made fast at our stake.

Zee buttoned her shirt and wiped Diana's mouth. "Home again, home again. Your girl child eats like a horse, Jefferson."

Like mother, like daughter. Zee, too, could eat like a horse and, mu ch to the annoyance of her women friends, never gain an ounce. Moreover, it wasn't long after her babies were born that her belly was as flat as ever. It was quite unfair, said her friends. I thought it was just fine, but I doubted if Zee thought about it at all, any more than she thought about being beautiful.

I rowed us all ashore, then walked over to Manny Fonseca's woodworking shop and got the Land Cruiser, which I'd parked there so it wouldn't get a ticket from Edgartown's eagle-eyed parking police. Edgartown is getting so advanced in its thinking that it's no longer possible for a sailor or a fisherman to park on a side street and go to sea for a few days. You have to find some private place to put your car. I complain about it to the chief of police whenever I think of it, but a fat lot of good it does me.

"Good trip?" asked Manny.

"Finest kind."

"Timed it right," said Manny. "The one they call Elmer is down there in the Caribbean someplace. Wouldn't want to be out in a boat the size of yours if it comes this way."

"You won't get any argument from me. I don't want to be out in any size boat during a hurricane."

Hurricane Elmer had just been Tropical Depression Elmer when we'd left for our cruise, but the little portable radio we'd taken with us had informed us that he'd gotten bigger since.

I drove Zee and the little ones home, where they were welcomed by Oliver Underfoot and Velcro, the cats, who had been living alone while we'd been gone, but who hadn't suffered much because we'd left them plenty of food and water, and their little cat door had allowed them to get in and out of the house whenever they wanted. Then I went back to Collins Beach, where I ferried our traveling gea r off the Shirley J., tidied her up, put on the sail cover, filled out the log, and went ashore again.

Another successful sail, a successful sail being defined as one where you go out and come back again in one piece. It had, in fact, been more than just a successful sail. It had been a fine sail.

I climbed back into the truck and drove home.

Home. Where the heart is.

Zee had a vodka martini waiting. She put it in my hand. It was cold. "Ice," she said. "We haven't had any for a while." She touched her glass to mine and smiled her dazzling smile.

We sat on our balcony, holding a kidling apiece, and looked out onto the water we'd just sailed over. On the far side we could see the low line that was Cape Cod.

"Before the Derby starts, I've got to take these sprats over to visit with my folks," said Zee.

"And I've got to install a faucet at Betsy Crandel's place." I yawned. "So much to do, so little time. Sailing and visiting America and pursuing bluefish and bass. We lead a frenzied life."

Zee bounced Diana on her knee. "You can check out all our fishing gear while I'm gone so we'll be ready to hit the beach on opening day."

"I can do that," I agreed. The annual Martha's Vineyard Bass and Bluefish Derby was one of the East Coast's finest fishing tournaments, and we fished in it every year in hopes of one day getting the biggest fish. So far, it had never happened, but so what? This might be the year.

The evening light slanted from the west. We finished our drinks and went down for supper. Shrimp baked with sherry and garlic. What could be finer? I felt good. Later, glad to be in a double bed again, I slept wrapped in Zee's arms. On the morrow I'd go up to the Crandel place and install that faucet, little guessing how that mundane act would change my life.

Copyright © 1999 by Philip R. Craig

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2000

    mystery stories

    Not a true mystery. As the climax rises it is easily resolved. Not alot of suspense.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)