Scribner, Jun 2002, 24.00, 256 pp.
Former cop J.W. Jackson enjoys his current life on Martha's Vineyard not so much because of the laid back lifestyle, but because he loves his wife Zee and their two kids. Still while much of the residents fret over the unsolved headless horseman murder, J.W. worries that something is bothering his beloved as Zee is very distant from him and even their kids.
While he ponders how to reach his spouse, J.W. meets Zimbabwean Abraham Mashima. The African searches for two stolen soapstone eagles carved eight hundred years ago in the Monomatopa Empire, but removed from his homeland during the tumultuous sixties. Abraham needs a professional to continue his search so J.W. agrees to help, but might have declined if he knew how Zee would react to his visitor. Still J.W. begins his inquiries only to find himself in peril from the dangerous denizen defending the arts.
VINEYARD ENIGMA is an exciting Martha's Vineyard mystery that enables the audience to visit the town seen through the eyes of J.W. The three sub-plots tie together nicely with each allowing readers to better understand the hero. The investigation is fun to follow as J.W, spins plenty of his hometown philosophy on various subjects like marriage, children, headless corpses, and even the Red Sox overcoming the curse this season. This leaves the only question for private investigative fans outside of New York Yankee rooters is whether they relish New England style soliloquies.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner