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How can there be serious crime on this small island in 1952? Too hard to escape with only a ferry and besides, everyone knows everyone else. Gossip makes every secret common knowledge in minutes. Yet, Carl Jenson is found in bed with a knife sticking out of his chest.Big city detective Mattie Carlyle is sent out to help laid back Cal Lockhart investigate the murder. From the start, they are at loggerheads. Mattie is shocked to find Cal spending significant time helping half a dozen needy families instead of concentrating on more typical police duties. Cal views his job as protecting the welfare of islanders, which includes preventing starvation.Cal's inclination to settle disputes and mete out his own brand of justice goes against Mattie's training. He finds himself defending the island ways and resents her attitude. He does admire the efficiency with which she uncovers and tracks down clues. In short order, she amasses half a dozen suspects, all with reason to kill Carl. One moment arguing, the next feeling a strong attraction, can they find a common ground or will either style prevail? And can they solve the murder? With Carl's home-wrecking history, should it even be called murder - or perhaps retribution?