Family ties draw Boston’s art sleuths into an island murder mystery in this “unalloyed pleasure” from the international bestselling author (Publishers Weekly).
Though a few years past sixty, Sarah Kelling’s Aunt Emma is as vigorous as a girl of twenty-two. She sings, she dances, and when the local fire department needs a fundraising boost, she’s happy to jump out a window for charity. This summer, she decamps to Maine, to beat the heat at an island retreat for artists and great thinkers. There are writers, painters, a psychic, and a historian, and their company promises to be great fun—until a few of them go treasure-crazy. Sensible people have long dismissed rumors of the Pocapuk Island treasure as myth, but artists are seldom sensible. When their rampant digging stirs up buried trouble, it leads to theft, drugging, and a murder. And although Sarah and her husband Max give investigative advice by phone, it’s up to Aunt Emma to save the islanders from themselves.
As always, MacLeod serves up unalloyed pleasure in recounting the exploits of an eccentric Boston Brahmin family, this time starring Emma Kelling (aunt to amateur detective Sarah). The glamorous, aging but vigorous widow leaps into nets at a firemen's benefit, performs in operettas and now takes on a new role--housekeeper for a group of aspiring artists and writers living on an island retreat belonging to one of her friends. Taking a bag of stage jewelry to repair, Emma arrives on isolated Picapuk Island off Maine to meet rude Everard Wont, writer; suave Count Alexei Radunov, poet; Alding Fath, psychic; Joris Groot and Lisbet Quainley, illustrators. They plan to find and write about pirate treasure supposedly buried on Picapuk, and Emma's baubles cause some confusion. But the genuine, incredibly valuable diamond necklace she finds in the bag incites murder. Somebody on the island kills a stranger who has swum ashore; dopes the psychic and hits Emma and several guests on their heads. Recovering her senses, the heroine phones for advice to her niece Sarah and husband Max Bittersohn, who send the help she needs to nab the villains.