Death in Still Waters: A Chesapeake Bay Mystery

Barbara Lee, Author
Barbara Lee, Author St. Martin's Press $20.95 (226p) ISBN 978-0-312-13048-0
Reviewed on: 05/01/1995
Release date: 05/01/1995
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-312-95780-3
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Winner of the publisher's 1994 Malice Domestic competition for best first mystery, this unevenly effective tale introduces 40-year-old Eve Elliott, a New York advertising whiz gone stale, whose double-decade marriage is kaput. While visiting her beloved aunt in coastal Maryland, Eve is walking by a waterside bungalow when she observes a local man, Will St. Claire, discover that his old dog has drowned, a plastic yellow rope tight around its neck. The next day she finds the bungalow's elderly owner drowned in the same place, his own dogs locked in the house. The police label the death accidental, but gossiping villagers recall the drowning of a young woman in that spot 25 years earlier. Eve, who decides to rent the bungalow and care for the dead man's dogs, is haunted by forebodings and troubling questions. Why has someone thrown a dead animal onto her doorstep? What do some dim-witted, loutish locals have to do with these and other nasty events? Who were Will St. Claire's birth parents? A trip to New York and information from others blessed with powerful, not entirely credible, memories, help Eve solve the puzzles. Despite a surfeit of whispering pines and whimpering dogs, Lee skillfully evokes both place and populace. (May)
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