Vineyard Blues by Philip R. Craig
A Martha's Vineyard Mystery

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Synopsis

A Scribner Crime Novel

It's been many years since J. W. Jackson has seen Corrie Appleyard, so J.W.'s delighted when the elderly African-American bluesman strolls unexpectedly up his driveway, guitar in hand. Corrie has come to Martha's Vineyard to play a few shows and to catch up on old times. But there's more to the Vineyard mix this summer than music, bluefish, and friendship.
Someone is torching the run-down summerhouses that a reviled local slumlord rents out to college kids who flock to the island for sun, sex, and summer jobs. J.W. and Zee, busy adding a wing to their house for precocious offspring Joshua and Diana, might almost cheer for the arsonist if they didn't fear someone would get hurt.
They are especially concerned for Corrie Appleyard, who opts to bunk in one of the dilapidated structures. Corrie doesn't need much in the way of amenities, and a friend's grandson has offered him hospitality. It's a bad choice. When a fire breaks out and an unidentified body is pulled from the scorched ruins, J.W. fears the worst. Corrie's precious guitar lies abandoned nearby, an ominous sign that the old man who seemed to live for his music has become the arsonist's victim.
With Corrie probably dead, this is no longer a mildly amusing case of a slumlord getting his due. For J.W., the search for the arsonist has become deadly serious and personal.
And there are other casualties this beautiful summer. Zee's friend, Susanna Quick, has received threatening letters from someone who knows far too much about Susanna's mysterious past, and who may use that knowledge in frightening ways.
As J.W. pursues the arsonist and closes in on Susanna's feared correspondent, this masterly mystery moves toward a surprising, immensely satisfying conclusion. As always, though, it's the ensemble cast, the vibrant Martha's Vineyard ambiance, and the enticing fishing and food that will win our hearts and bring us back for more. Perfect summer reading, Vineyard Blues is proof once again that Philip R. Craig is at the top of his form.

Includes three delicious Vineyard recipes!
 

About Philip R. Craig

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The late Philip R. Craig was the author of nineteen novels in the Martha's Vineyard Mystery series. A professor emeritus of English at Wheelock College in Boston, he loved the Vineyard and lived there year-round with his wife, Shirley.
 
Published February 27, 2001 by Scribner. 224 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Vineyard Blues

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Reading the sixth Vineyard mystery starring ex-cop J.W.

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In Craig's delightful 17th Martha's Vineyard mystery (after 2005's Vineyard Prey), ex-Boston cop J.W.

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The friend, Ivy Holiday--notorious for baring her breasts at the Academy Awards in protest of ""the exploitation of women as sex objects in films""--has been receiving threatening notes from an inmate jailed for killing Ivy's roommate.

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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.

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Mundane domestic activities play as big a part as duplicitous drug dealers or menacing mobsters in Craig's latest leisurely Vineyard mystery (after 2000's Vineyard Blues) featuring ex-Boston cop J.W.

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Jackson searches for two ancient soapstone eagles allegedly stolen from African ruins, as well as for clues to his wife Zee's sudden detachment, in Craig's latest Vineyard mystery, a livelier, more original tale than his previous, 2001's Vineyard Shadows.

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Jackson, meanwhile, fearing that a now-missing Corrie is the arson victim, has been asked by friend Susanna to help identify the man who has been harassing her over the phone about her former life in the porn industry.

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