Helen Shandy has a new project for Balacalva. She is photographing collectible weather vanes in the area to preserve the local history of the area. At the beginning she is perched on a cannon across from the soap factory in Lumpkinton. That night the soap factory burns down. It is the main business in the town. Everything is lost, including one of the workers. It appears to be arson. Peter Shandy is asked to investigate.
He was going to accompany Helen to Maine to photograph another vane and visit an old friend as well. So Helen travels up with another mutual friend. After Helen gets her pictures, she, Cat, and Iduna rent a lobster boat to go whale watching. Their boat is pirated by the young men who take the trip with them. The men throw the captain and the women overboard into the cold January Atlantic.
Meanwhile in Lumpkinton Peter joins up with the young newspaperman to discover what is going on. Who burnt down the soap factory? One of the reporter's brother has been accused of the arson, another is in the hospital from burns. They start checking into rumors around the area. Soon Peter and his new friend find themselves in their own trouble. Along the way they meet an intriguing recluse as well.
Both of the Shandys are in dangerous situations in different parts of the country. Because Macleod was good at her craft, it appears as if the separate attacks are just that, separate. But because they reader knows the genre, it is easy to guess they are related. But how is the real question. Even to the end as things are starting to be pulled together, there are surprises awaiting.
Aside from the well done mystery, the Shandy couple themselves are an important component of this series. The two are a happy couple and it shows. When the author delves into their heads, both are completed by the other. Charlotte Macleod made them to be a comfortable, happy couple with mystery solving skills. Since I started in the middle of the series, I don't know if the two started out single then married in an earlier book. I enjoy the happy couple where they are in this book, though.
This is a satisfying cozy mystery with the proper rounding up of the bad guys and with the gray guys getting their come uppance when needed. Thanks to my sister for making me read some of Macleod's books. She'd been trying to get me to read them for years... This book is out of print, so look to your library or for a used copy.
Notice: Non-graphic violence
| Peter Shandy Series:
Rest You Merry
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