The first Merry Folger Nantucket mystery
When Rusty Mason, scion of one of Nantucket's oldest and wealthiest families, is found dead in a flooded cranberry bog one foggy fall night, thirty-two-year-old detective Merry Folger is faced with her first murder case. Merry is the daughter of the local police chief and granddaughter of his predecessor; her father is a strict boss and Merry feels pressure to go the extra mile to prove her promotion to detective isn’t just nepotism. But the Mason murder is a demanding first test. Merry’s investigation brings to light all the tensions that plague the tiny community of Nantucket: the decades-old grudges, the skyrocketing real estate that only wealthy weekenders can afford, the resentments of the old Nantucket families who are barely keeping their homes and heritage fishing businesses alive. But Merry knows the island and its politics in a way only a local can.
Spunky but inexperienced, third-generation Nantucket cop Meredith Folger investigates murder in this spare, atmospheric debut. Wealthy farmer Peter Mason is shocked to learn of his estranged brother's return to the island. Rusty, who'd fled to Brazil after a fight with their father and an insider trading scandal, shows up infected with the HIV virus, apparently addicted to cocaine-and then dead, hit by a car and left on Mason property face-down in shallow water to drown. Peter is the suspect of choice for Merry, who has to battle her father, the police chief, for the assignment. Mathews is especially adept at evoking the somber isolation of the islanders as the tourist season draws to a close. Merry and Peter seem two love-crossed souls (Merry's former lover now works as Peter's assistant), but Mathews doesn't clarify their relationship. Other suspects include a local teenager, a free-spirited couple and a lonely schoolteacher, but all are indifferently depicted in a story that unfolds haphazardly and sports a flurry of new revelations near the end. Of the place, people and plot, only the first comes fully alive here.
If you love Nantucket
You will love this mystery. Interesting characters, intriguing plot, and what could be better than Nantucket for a mystery setting?
Great to see this book in iBooks