Mapping Murder by William D. Andrews

Mapping Murder (2017, Islandport Press) is book #3 in the Julie Williamson Mystery series. The previous titles were Stealing History and Breaking Ground. All three books revolve around Julie Williamson the young, new director of the Ryland Historic Society in the fictional western Maine town of Ryland.

The storyline for this instalment revolves around several thefts of precious artefacts from other Maine historical societies, and not necessarily the most valuable items in their respective collections either.… Continue reading

Pink Chimneys by Ardeana Hamlin

Pink Chimneys could well be the quintessential “Maine” historic novel in that it describes life in the Bangor region in the early 1800s when the city was being developed as a primary port for shipping and other businesses. Originally released in 1987, Islandport Press has released the 30th-anniversary edition of Pink Chimneys with a new forward by the author, who states:

“I don’t know what has given Pink Chimneys its longevity, but I believe readers find in the story something that moves them, that makes them care about Maude, Fanny and Elizabeth…..Something in the story stirs in readers a sense of historical place, particularly as it concerns women and the Bangor region.Continue reading

Straw Man (A Jack McMorrow Mystery #11) by Gerry Boyle

: Straw Man was the winner of the 2017 Maine Literary Award for Crime Fiction!

Islandport Books has released book #11 in the Jack McMorrow Mystery series by Maine author Gerry Boyle. I previously reviewed #10 Once Burned and said that the hard-boiled detective created by Dashiell Hammett is alive and well and living in rural Maine, working as a freelance writer/reporter. This time Jack is up against gun runners, gangs and Old Order Mennonites in his quest for stories.… Continue reading

Rapid Reviews June 2016

This installment of "Rapid Reviews" includes five titles which run the gamut from Maine to Nova Scotia to Newfoundland and then Canada in general. One is pure fiction, another a combination of memoirs/fiction, one is of Nova Scotia beaches, another about the late Newfoundland musician Ron Hynes, and lastly a reference book on the history of policing in Canada.

Once Burned (A Jack McMorrow Mystery #10) by Gerry Boyle

The spirit of Dashiell Hammett’s hard-boiled Continental Op detective is alive and well in Gerry Boyle’s Jack McMorrow. Given, he is a somewhat kinder, gentler version, but don’t let the façade fool you: Jack means business. Once Burned (2015, Islandport Press) is #10 in the Jack McMorrow series based on the activities of the investigative reporter created by Maine author Gerry Boyle.

A Serial Arsonist in a Small Town

The small town of Sanctuary, Maine is being systematically targeted by a serial arsonist that knows his craft.… Continue reading

Strangers on the Beach by Josh Pahigian

Maine resident Josh Pahigian’s first novel Strangers on a Beach (2012, Islandport Press) is what I consider the perfect type of “summer read”. By that I mean it is a mystery/thriller that will hold your attention until the end, the type of book to take on vacation, one you can put down to have some fun, then pick up when you have a relaxing moment. That is not to say you cannot read this in the dead of winter; it’s just the location of the book (Old Orchard Beach, Maine) lends itself to summer and playing in the waves or sitting on the beach getting some sun.… Continue reading

Father Fell Down the Well by Kendall Morse

A collection of traditional Maine “Downeast” stories by writer, musician and performer Kendall Morse, Father Fell Down the Well (Islandport Press, 2015) has been years in the making, figuratively and literally. The author has collected and performed these stories over a number of years, and they go back to the days of the rural Maine farms and woodlands when folks liked nothing better than to tell yarns over a cup of mulled cider while sitting on the piazza, or over to the general store where the men always seemed to congregate.Arranged in ten chapters, we are introduced to many Downeast Maine characters and the stories they tell (some of them even have a grain of truth in them), each one seeming to lead to the next crazy tale.… Continue reading