Francine Mathews' no-nonsense Nantucket police detective, Merry Folger, is back on the case after nineteen years. Death on Nantucket, the fifth Merry Folger Mystery, is full of regional charm, a strong sense of local history, and foggy New England Island atmosphere.
Spencer Murphy is a national treasure. A famous Vietnam War correspondent who escaped captivity in Southeast Asia, he made a fortune off of his books and television appearances. But Spence is growing forgetful with age; he’s started to wander and even fails to come home one night. When a body is discovered at Step Above, the sprawling Murphy house near Steps Beach, Nantucket police detective Meredith Folger is called in to investigate.
The timing couldn’t be worse: It’s the Fourth of July, and tourists are arriving in droves to celebrate on Nantucket’s beaches, so the police force is spread thin. On top of that Merry is planning her wedding to cranberry farmer Peter Mason, and her new boss, an ex-Chicago police chief with an aggressive management strategy, seems to be trying to force her to quit. Merry can’t conclude the Murphy investigation quickly enough for him. As she grapples with a family of unreliable storytellers—some incapable of recalling the past, and others determined that it never be known—she suspects that the truth may be forever out of reach, trapped in the failing brain of a man whose whole life may be a lie.
Last seen in 1998's Death in a Cold Hard Light, police detective Meredith "Merry" Folger is trying to finalize the details of her wedding as the Fourth of July approaches, in Mathews's intriguing fifth mystery set on Nantucket. When a body is found on the widow's walk of the house belonging to famed retired foreign correspondent Spencer Murphy, the hordes of summer tourists make investigating the death even more difficult for Merry. The victim, discovered weeks after her death, is identified as Nora, Spencer's estranged daughter. Was Nora's death an accident or murder? The dysfunctional Murphy clan and their long-held grudges against each other present Merry with multiple suspects, each with a motive. Complicating the investigation is Spencer's dementia. A second murder leads Merry's investigation into Spenser's background as a journalist. Has the past finally caught up with the globe-trotting journalist? Mathews takes readers on a holiday tour with an ocean view, complete with a murder mystery as twisted as the emotions that family can evoke.