cover image A Deadly Vineyard Holiday

A Deadly Vineyard Holiday

Philip R. Craig. Scribner Book Company, $20.5 (288pp) ISBN 978-0-684-19718-0

Retired Boston cop J.W. Jackson and his wife, Zee, are back for their eighth Martha's Vineyard mystery (following Death on a Vineyard Beach, 1996). When J.W. befriends a teenage girl, he finds she's even more trouble than the average adolescent. In fact, all Cricket Callahan wants is to be a normal teenager. But she's the daughter of the president, who happens to be vacationing on the Vineyard. Cricket yearns for a life out of the fishbowl of publicity and security; and with the grudging okay of her mother, and under the watchful eye of a Secret Service agent playing big sister, Cricket is allowed to spend a couple of incognito days as the Jacksons' ""cousin Debby."" From the uptight security agents who descend to check things out J.W. learns that threats have been made against Cricket and soon figures out that an insider is likely involved. It's tricky business playing cat-and-mouse when various government agents could be the cat and the president's daughter is the mouse, especially while trying to let the mouse enjoy clamming, cooking and chumming with a couple of normal island kids. With the aid of his own intelligence sources and some deft sleuthing, J.W. identifies the turncoat and baits a trap with his own life to prove it. None of this is very plausible, but plenty of island lore and some simple seafood recipes spice the action. (June)