Isolation: A Faye Longchamp Mystery

Mary Anna Evans. Poisoned Pen, $26.95 (288p) ISBN 978-1-4642-0404-3

Archeologist Faye Longchamp-Mantooth entertains an array of visitors at her home on Joyeuse Island, some more welcome than others, in Evans’s meaty ninth mystery set on Florida’s Gulf coast (after 2013’s Rituals). First, her ex-con father-in-law, Sly Mantooth, arrives, then a hazardous leak brings in the county environmental agency team led by Gerry Steinberg, who’s also a detective for the Micco County sheriff. Later, genealogist Delia Scarsdale and history buff Oscar Croft seek information about Elias Croft, a Union soldier who was Oscar’s great-great-grandfather, and the woman they believe held him captive, Cally Stanton, Faye’s great-great-grandmother. Meanwhile, the murder of Liz Colton, owner of Liz’s Bar and Grill, and attacks or attempted attacks on two other women on the mainland bring trouble to Joyeuse. Evans skillfully uses excerpts from the fictional oral history of Cally Stanton, recorded by the Federal Writers’ Project in 1935, to dramatize the past. Agent: Anne Hawkins, John Hawkins & Associates. (Aug.)