Hyperion (244 pp, $24.95)
The second in an apparent series of mystery novels by retired sword boat captain, Linda Greenlaw is as appealing as the first in its abundance of local color. Greenlaw knows Maine, knows the ocean and knows fishermen.
Heroine/sleuth, Jane Bunker, late of Miami and newly transplanted on the Maine coast offers a running commentary on the lobster fishing industry, boat handling details and on the eccentricities of rural Mainers-not quite humorous but not mean either-which adds a patina of authenticity which makes up for some inadequasies of plot.
Unlike Greenlaw's first mystery, Slipknot (reviewed here) the mystery part unravels slowly. There is no dead body at the beginning, to get your attention and add menace, just an abandoned lobster boat set to drive an circle in the water until it runs out of gas and drifts away. The "what happened to the lobsterman" question gets lost in lots of details that lead elsewhere-or nowhere. And when the mystery is solved, a logical trail of crumbs has not led the reader to the solution. It is explained, not proofed.
That said, I did enjoy the book in spite of its structural weakness. Greenlaw takes me where I want to be, messing about in boats on the Maine coast with people who know more than I do.