The Murders on Fox Island by Margaret Page Hood

1957

They called her a wanton, 
the people of Fox Island, but Jeanne Marie was only young and full of high spirits.

Her constant teasing flirtations, with any man and even with his own brother, are meaningless – or so Jeanne Marie’s husband told himself.

Until the night he found her lying on her bed in a flimsy nightgown. Dead. With his dead brother beside her.

And found himself the chief suspect for double murder.


In this book, Deputy Sheriff Gil Donan is finally beginning to be seen as a mature, confident law man…

‘Gil Donan, still the same gangling, long-legged awkward cuss he’d appointed as deputy for fox Island with much misgiving when Red Anderson left for the Wisconsin stone quarries. Two years Gil had served the island, and if his youthful frame hadn’t yet thickened to the set shape of maturity, he carried now an unconscious air of authority, a calm acceptance of his own ability to handle the intricacies of island problems.’

Doc, the local doctor, is becoming more and more a real help and confidante of Gil’s. I love them as a team. Doc knows the island people so well and he has a great sense of humor. While there is always some of the same residents in each book there is always someone new introduced too. I love the continuity and relationships in this series. So many good ‘suspects’ in this one!

 ‘As they passed Fox and ran along the back shore of Vinalhaven the waves were smashing against the rough granite boulders, sending the spray high in the air so that, catching the sun, it sparkled with a hundred tiny rainbows. Even the usually quiet waters of Indian Creek leading to the lobster pound were racing wildly along the sandy beaches.
 Cries hands were firm on the wheel, the cigarette sagged unlighted from his mouth. Crow Carver’s boat bucked the waves, slapped its bottom so violently in the trough that the pots and kettles in the galley rattled, and the floorboards of the wheelhouse creaked and groaned.
  The seals, sunning themselves on their rocky ledge, slid with loud splashing into the sea as the boat passed close. The air above the barren island where the sea gulls nested, its rocks whitened with droppings, was filled with the flurry of wings as gulls shelled and turned in the wind.’

Can’t you just imagine yourself there?

Gil went to ask Grandma about Uncle Judson’s youth and she served him something called parkin. 
“Here,” she said putting a plate and glass of before him, “fresh parkin I baked this morning. Got the recipe from an English woman used to live here when the quarries was working. Nothing like parkin and a glass of fresh milk to wash it down.”
  The parkin had a good chew to it, flavored with molasses and spice. Gil ate greedily. Wiping the milky mustache from his mouth he asked the old lady what she could tell him about the hermit of Huckleberry Hill.

I had to go on a search for parkin of course then. Found this recipe. Can’t wait to try it!

The original title of this book was In the Dark Night. Why do publishers feel like they have to change titles? If I was an author I wouldn’t like them messing with my work that way! I have a small old Dell paperback and they changed the name. I love the cover on this one and I so love the feel of these old small paperbacks in my hands as I read. Now to go right to the next in the series and decor them all at once or leave a couple for a treat later?

This book will count for the red head on the cover category in Bev’s Scavenger Hunt Gold 2016

Peggy Ann

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