cover image High Island Blues

High Island Blues

Ann Cleeves, Ann Cleves. Fawcett Books, $5.5 (261pp) ISBN 978-0-449-14979-9

Cleeves, author of The Mill on the Shore, turns what should have been a quiet birdwatching holiday in Texas into a multiple crime scene, with new bodies discovered almost daily. When Mick, one of three friends, is murdered, the local police peg tour guide Rob for the murderer. Eager to clear himself, Rob gets a friend, George Palmer-Jones, to come over from England and play sleuth. George and his wife, Molly in London, find out that Mick was involved in a scheme to raise money for a fake environmental action group. It appears that several people may have wanted Mick out of the way. It's up to George to prove Rob's innocence and prevent the murderer from striking again. The backdrop of the rugged countryside as spectacular bird-watching country and the earnestness of the tourists make the book interesting. George and Molly are convincing as Pis, although the other protagonists, including Rob and the victims, are less original characters. (June)