Martha's Vineyard Mystery #13
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With the arrival of warm weather and good fishing, life should be great for J. W. Jackson and his wife, Zee. Martha's Vineyard may be no Eden, but J.W. wouldn't trade it for any other place on earth.
Something's wrong, though. The morning newspaper brings an update on the case of the Headless Horseman, a headless and handless corpse found on a local bridle path six months ago. Such murders are rare on the Vineyard, and J.W. can't help but wonder if a killer is still wandering free on the island.
Something's wrong at home, too. Zee does her usual efficient job at the emergency room but with J.W. and the two kids she seems curiously distant. If she's going through the seven-year itch, J.W. will give her time. He loves her and hopes she'll soon remember that she loves him.
Meanwhile, J.W. gets a distraction in the form of Abraham Mahsimba, a mysterious man from Zimbabwe in East Africa. Mahsimba enlists J.W.'s help in the search for two ancient soapstone eagles, carved seven hundred years ago and spirited out of Africa in the 1960s. Mahsimba has followed their trail to the Vineyard. He'll pay what it takes to bring them home.
J.W. agrees to assist, though he doesn't know much about art. And he certainly doesn't anticipate what will happen when Zee meets Mahsimba. The man has a charisma that's hard to resist.
Nor can J.W. know that his search for the eagles will pit him against some of the most powerful figures in the Vineyard's art world, including some who would stop at nothing to add forbidden objects to their collections. And there's still the unsolved case of the Headless Horseman. Could the Horseman's death have anything to do with the eagles?
With the author's usual rich blend of suspense, fishing, food, and family, set against the invigorating backdrop of beautiful Martha's Vineyard, Vineyard Enigma is the perfect summer read from an acclaimed and much-loved author.
- Scribner, March 2003
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