St. Patrick’s Day Murder
Kensington, Jan 2008, $22.00
Tinker’s Cove, Maine is a quaint New England town, but nobody can call the Bilge anything but a dive; a bar known for its customers constantly fighting. The owner Dan Malone ignores the laws that might trim his profits. He is a rebel with a cause of making money regardless of what he does to others. He opens when he wants and closes long after the legal time set by the town. He is not a well liked person as his avarice drives people away while his conning of folks out of their money makes him a pariah. When he vanishes for three days, no one except his bar regulars blink. His body is found floating in the nearby icy harbor; his head sliced off.
His younger brother Dylan comes to town to direct the production of Finnegan’s Rainbow for the church. He is shocked by what happened to his sibling, but since they were not even remotely close he moves on. However Dylan does not make himself popular with the locals when he calls his wife actress Moira Malone to perform in the play and she angers the townsfolk further when she brings her daughter along for the excursion. When Moira’s child is kidnapped, reporter Lucy Stone’s knowledge of Dan Malone’s activities gives her an idea where the girl is being held; she follows up on her hunch knowing she places herself in danger.
Leslie Meier writes some of the best regional cozies around. She captures the ambience of a small Maine harbor town. Her characters from the lobstermen to the fisherman to the rest of the locals provide a strong look at the work ethic especially in winter. Lucy displays those qualities as a nurturing mother, loyal friend, and hard nosed working journalist. The outrageous Moira the drama queen provides comic relief with her hyperbole hysteria and arrogant airs as she adds privileged pampered preening into the working world of New England.