The Fisher Boy
Stephen H. Anable
Poisoned Pen, May 2008, $22.95
Mark Winslow and his improv actors group leave Boston to perform in Provincetown. His summer stay starts upbeat over the Memorial Weekend when he attends a party thrown by his friend Arthur Hilliard; Mark anticipates meeting club owners as everyone who is anyone wants to be seen at this scene.
However, everything turns bloody ugly starting with the dead dog on the outside stoop; or perhaps as Mark suggests before that canine incident the Swedish tall ship the Vasa in the harbor was the harbinger of death. When Mark has an argument with Ian Drummond at a restaurant, he thinks nothing of it until later when he finds the brutalized corpse of Ian. Knowing he is the prime suspect in the killing of a Boston Brahmin, Mark investigates while noticing an influx of Scandinavian tourists but clues hint at the Christian Soldiers in town for the exhibition of the early twentieth century work of artist Thomas Royall.
More a witty social commentary on life in Provincetown, THE FISHER BOY is an entertaining amateur sleuth tale although the detecting takes a back seat to Mark’s observations on life in the Cape during that fatal summer. The story line is character driven by Mark who seeks motive through his observations on the various diverse groups battling for supremacy of the Cape Cod town. Readers will appreciate this fine whodunit that is more a deep look at the discordance of diversity.