Friday, March 9, 2012

Trouble At High Tide: Murder, She Wrote-Jessica Fletcher and Donald Bain

Trouble At High Tide: Murder, She Wrote

Jessica Fletcher and Donald Bain

NAL, Apr 3 2012, $23.95

ISBN: 9780451236326

Following a grueling book tour, Jessica Fletcher accepts an invitation from New Jersey Judge Thomas Betterton to spend some time at his affluent estate in Bermuda. Upon arrival on the island, she hears tales of a Jack The Ripper copycat recently having killed three young females.

Thomas throws a parry in which Jessica meets her host’s extended family. Not used to alcohol, Jessica is slightly intoxicated from a power island concoction so Thomas’ assistant Adam escorts her back to her cabana where she snoozes on a porch swing. When she awakens Jessica decides to take a stroll in the beach where she finds the corpse of Thomas’ twenty-two year old niece Alicia. Since her death mirrors the M.O. of the neo-Ripper murders, the local police turn the case over to visiting Scotland Yard Inspector George Sutherland as part of his investigation into the serial killings. Unable to do nothing, Jessica makes an inquiry too as she critically thinks something is not right about the Alicia homicide.

Bill Clinton was in the last years of his first term as president when Murder, She Wrote went off the air. Thirty-seven mysteries later (see Skating on Thin Ice) and the series remains incredibly fresh even with the storyline containing the same elements. Jessica has been on the road a lot lately (see A Slaying in Savannah, Madison Avenue Shoot, Queen Jewels and Nashville Noir), but her Bermuda vacation is an engaging entry in an endearing series as she works a case in which the locals whisper Ripper, the cops think a modern day Ripper copycat, and Jessica looks elsewhere.

Harriet Klausner

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