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The exciting debut of a snappy, spirited, and irresistible mystery series from beloved and bestselling author Linda Greenlaw

In her bestselling nonfiction book All Fishermen Are Liars, Linda Greenlaw confessed a desire to write fiction--and readers responded with an enthusiastic "Please do!" At last, she satisfies their hunger with this sharp-witted, compulsively readable mystery, the first in a series featuring marine investigator Jane Bunker....

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The exciting debut of a snappy, spirited, and irresistible mystery series from beloved and bestselling author Linda Greenlaw

In her bestselling nonfiction book All Fishermen Are Liars, Linda Greenlaw confessed a desire to write fiction--and readers responded with an enthusiastic "Please do!" At last, she satisfies their hunger with this sharp-witted, compulsively readable mystery, the first in a series featuring marine investigator Jane Bunker.

When Jane moves back to the sleepy Maine fishing community where she was born, it's to escape the seamy crime scenes and unsavory characters that crossed her path in Miami. Surely whatever crimes are committed in touristy, idyllic Green Haven won't involve anything as nasty as what she saw in Florida. It's a bit of a shock, then, when Nick Dow, the town drunk, turns up dead, and it's not the simple accident that everyone assumes it to be. Jane soon discovers that Dow wasn't even a drunk--it was all an act. But why? And what does it have to do with a heated town hall meeting about fishing rights and paternity suits? The more Jane digs, the more confused she gets. Only two things are certain: Nothing is what it seems; and the whole town is in each other's business. But it's not until Jane impulsively hops on a boat with the killer--a boat that suddenly heads out to sea--that things become downright dangerous . . .

As she proved in The Hungry Ocean, no one knows the sea like Linda Greenlaw. And as she proved in The Lobster Chronicles, no one has a better way with the telling details of Maine village life. This new mystery series features everything readers want: a great setting, wonderful characters, an authentic and original detective--and a story that will keep them on the edge of their seats.

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Editorial Reviews

Entertainment Weekly
Greenlaw, author of nonfiction best-sellers such as The Lobster Chronicles, has no trouble finding her sea legs in . . . this swifty paced yarn. (B+)
Publishers Weekly

Bestseller Greenlaw introduces an indomitable heroine, Jane Bunker, in her strong mystery debut, which finds the former Dade County, Fla., chief detective seeking her roots and a slower pace of life in her coastal childhood hometown of Green Haven, Maine. Starting over as a marine investigator for an insurance company, Jane happens upon the body of alcoholic cod fisherman Nick Dow, who washes ashore with a crushed skull beneath the docks of the fish plant Jane means to assess. The state police don't suspect foul play, but she does. Chasing the murderer, Jane becomes an accidental stowaway aboard a boat that heads into a fierce storm at sea. A cast of memorable New Englanders-especially fish plant foreman Cal Dunham and Jane's kooky but caring landlords, Henry and Alice Vickerson-enhance a fast-moving plot, while the nautical details will appeal to fans of Greenlaw's nonfiction books such as The Hungry Ocean and The Lobster Chronicles. Author tour. (June)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Kirkus Reviews
First in a new series featuring a feisty marine investigator. Jane Bunker, 41 and burned out after years working Miami homicides, returns to Green Haven, Maine, the town she was born in and left at age seven. She settles in above the Vickersons' garage and works as a marine-insurance agent, a job that barely pays enough to keep her pokey old Duster running. When town drunk Nick Dow tumbles off the dock, she wonders if it's really an accident. There's his bashed head, for one thing, and the controversy he instigated about the plans for a wind farm that could destroy the local cod-fishing industry. Dow also had a profitable sideline as the local bookie, to whom a debtor code-named "34" owed $50,000. Luckily, Jane is befriended by Cal, the hunchbacked foreman at the Turner cod factory, who helps when she tangles with Blaine and Lucy Hamilton, Lucy's son, Alex, his hunky dad, Lincoln, Lincoln's brother, George, and Ginny, the obese owner of the cod plant. Arson, imported crabs and a ferocious sea battle are on the menu before Jane, with a few assists from her author, triumphs. Greenlaw (All Fisherman Are Liars, 2004, etc.) writes the best storm sequence this side of Hammond Innes, and you could build a boat from her description of its innards. Jane's a prize catch, and so are the crusty down-easters she lives with. Agent: Stuart Krichevsky/Stuart Krichevsky Literary Agency
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786891238
  • Publisher: Hyperion
  • Publication date: 4/29/2008
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 1,468,570
  • Product dimensions: 4.12 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Linda  Greenlaw
Linda Greenlaw has been a deep-sea fisherman for 18 years, becoming the first and only female swordfish captain in the Grand Banks Fleet. This career earned her a prominent role in Sebastian Junger's runaway bestseller, The Perfect Storm and a protrayal in the subsequent film. She was raised in Maine and graduated from Colby College. Greenlaw now lives on Isle au Haut, Maine, where she captains a lobster boat.


Growing up on coastal Maine, Linda Greenlaw was entranced by the ocean and everything that swam in it. When other kids got their first 10-speed bicycles, she got her first 10-horsepower outboard. Later, Greenlaw literally sailed her way through college, spending her summers as a cook and deck hand on a swordfishing boat. After graduating from Colby College with a double major in English and government, Greenlaw returned to the sailor's life, becoming a ship captain when she was in her 20s and earning a reputation as "one of the best swordboat captains, period, on the East Coast" (in the words of Perfect Storm author Sebastian Junger).

For over 15 years, this remarkable achievement went generally unremarked-upon. Then came Sebastian Junger's The Perfect Storm, the true story of the fishing boat Andrea Gail, which disappeared in a hurricane at sea in October of 1991. Greenlaw was captain of the Andrea Gail's sister ship, the Hannah Boden, which was also at sea during the fateful storm. Though Greenlaw is only a minor figure in Junger's book, readers were intrigued by the idea of a woman who'd made it to the top in a heavily male-dominated -- and highly dangerous -- profession.

Publishers were intrigued, too, and several of them approached Greenlaw with offers for a book about her experiences. At first she turned them down, saying she could make more money actually fishing for a season than writing about fishing. But at last she decided to give it a try, and her readers are glad she did. Her book The Hungry Ocean is a riveting look at the day-to-day operations of a large commercial fishing boat, complete with storms, sharks and, on one grim occasion, a dead crew member in the fish hold. In the great fisherman tradition, The Hungry Ocean is also a ripping good story, one The New York Times Book Review declared a "triumph."

Greenlaw agreed to write her first book in part because she wanted to lead a settled existence for a while, perhaps get married and start a family. In her second book, The Lobster Chronicles, she describes trading the adventurous life of an offshore swordboat captain for the comparatively quiet business of trapping lobsters in Penobscot Bay. As she reconnects with her roots on the tiny Isle au Haut ("forty-seven full-time residents, half of whom I am related to in one way or another"), she deals with nosy neighbors, a dearth of available men, and recalcitrant crustaceans who refuse to crawl into her traps. She also evokes a life of simplicity and self-sufficiency that her readers might well envy: Her island has no Kmart ("or any other mart"), no Starbucks, no cable TV. "Straightforward storytelling and captivating reading: satisfying as a Maine lobster dinner," wrote Kirkus Reviews.

So far, Greenlaw is shaping up to be as talented a writer as she is a fisherman (she objects strenuously to being called a "fisherwoman"). Possibly the only woman ever to captain a swordfishing boat, she has insisted that being a female captain is an asset: "No self-respecting fisherman wants to be outdone by a woman, even if it kills him." Perhaps her books will inspire other female fishermen to join the fray.

Good To Know

In her years as a swordboat captain, Greenlaw's biggest single swordfish was a 635-pound fish caught in the Carribean, according to a USA Today chat with the author. Her largest total load in one trip was 62,000 pounds.

In a TV interview with Brian Lamb on C-SPAN, Greenlaw said she's "one of the only people probably on the planet who does not own a cell phone. But I have a VHF radio."

In the movie version of The Perfect Storm, Linda Greenlaw was played by Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio.

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    1. Hometown:
      Isle au Haut, Maine
    1. Education:
      B.A., Colby College, 1983

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 13 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 11, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    First and Last for this author.

    This book was good up until the end. After I finished it I sat back and thought, "That's it?" I had never read from this author before and I have to say that I was very disappointed.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted September 16, 2012

    Excellent reading, well written and keeps you attention. Plan t

    Excellent reading, well written and keeps you attention. Plan to read more of Linda Greenlaw's work.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 5, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A good read

    This was a great page turner and read at one sitting. While reading this novel I constantly pictured the odd ball characters and how this would be directed and portrayed by actors on the big screen. This would a good movie I thought with the exception of the lame ending. Throughout the novel the narrator referred to "her mentor" but this character was never really established however. Great book for someone who likes a good story and has time because you will not want to put it down.

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  • Posted August 31, 2009

    Kept me guessing until the very end!

    I love a good whodunit and this was a good one. It wasn't dramatic, just a nice easy read. The characters were down to earth, everyday people. Just when I thought I'd figured it out, I'd realize no, I hadn't. It wasn't that the ending was shocking, it was just that it could have been anyone, none of whom would have been surprising. It was hard for me to put down.

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

    Posted June 26, 2009

    Not a very well written story

    This book starts out pretty good. The plot then becomes so unbelievable it's a waste of time to finish the book. This book is sitting at home and I can't bring myself to throw out a book; however, in good faith I can't donate the book to the library either and have someone as disappointed as I was.

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

    Posted October 16, 2007

    Knowing the scene it is close to reality in Coastal Maine

    Just finished the book in three days, could not put it down till I found out how it would end. I have read every book Linda Greenlaw has written and enjoyed them all. Life long resident living in Maine I could understand how such matters happen! Plus Linda Greenlaw graduated from Coly College in Waterville, Maine, so you know she has to be talented!

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

    Posted July 17, 2007

    Will Jane sleep with the fish?

    Jane Bunker wants a quieter, more sedate life. She accepts an entry level position as an insurance investigator, leaving behind the violence and murder in her Florida job as a homicide detective. Along with the lazy, hazy everyday life of the small Maine fishing village, she finds murder, conspiracy, and arson some trade off. Linda Greenlaw couples her skills as a seafaring captain with knowledge of the people who take a living from the ocean¿s harvest and introduces us to the grit and underlying currents of seaport life and those who live it. Good characters good plot good action and suspense very good read. Reviewed by Wanda C. Keesey

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2007

    just okay

    Let me begin by saying I don't have much patience for crummy books, but this one didn't get tossed. I haven't read any of Greenlaw's books before, so I didn't know what to expect. This book was not up to the standards of other mystery writers I've read, but I give Greenlaw credit for trying. I didn't much care for Jane, her main character-I didn't care for how much was made of her tight-fistedness, which borders on real stupidity sometimes the male characters seem interchangeable, and the few females seem to be dismissable except for the coffee-shop waitress, who just needs a little bit more personality in order to be a great character. I wonder how much insurance investigation work is available in such a small town-unless she gets assignments further afield, it's likely that her penny-pinching will come in handy. I liked the older couple who are Jane's landlords and 'adopted' parents, though I had my suspicions about them, which I thought was a good way of making the reader wonder 'whodunit'. Most of the action is unrealistic, though-it was hard to believe some of the situations Jane was in. Still, it's not a total waste of time, and maybe her next book will be more polished and pulled together.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2008

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    Posted April 9, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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    Posted March 17, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2010

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