Hyperion, Jul 2008, $24.95
In Green Haven, Maine Marine Safety Consultants hire Florida transplant Jane Bunker to investigate accidents and vandalism reported on the research vessel Quest authorized to explore the floor bed of Cobscook Bay. The Knox County Assistant Sheriff and her sexagenarian friend Cal visit the vessel to evaluate the damaged equipment.
After finishing her assessment, the pair head back to shore only to see a floating unmanned lobster boat, the Eva B. They search for survivors as they assume anyone alive needs assistance; instead they find a corpse in the nets, who is a Guatemalan crewmember and wonder where Captain Parker is. Jane keeps searching not realizing the danger she is in until the mishaps begin or the other illegal work Parker performed.
The second Jane Bunker Maine mystery (see SLIPKNOT – not read by me) is a fabulous police procedural especially when the heroine is at sea; as readers will feel they are with her to guide the audience with little nautical things like climbing in and out of a moving lobster boat. The story line is fast-paced and the battle between environmentalists and competing economic interests over the use of the sea make for a wonderful whodunit as many people have strong green motives. Maritime mystery fans will appreciate this well written regional cozy especially when Jane takes us on the water.