Vineyard Chillin’

Philip R. Craig’s reliable murder mystery series is essentially a cozy with a Stateside setting. Small town? Check. Cast of characters featuring a few eccentrics? Check. Non-professional regularly embroiled in murders which he/she solves because of his/her insight into the human condition? Check. At the heart of each installment, however, is a story about the haves versus the have-nots.

This time (A Vineyard Killing) the haves are a group of rapacious land developers from Savannah who also happen to be world-class fencers. Before you can say, “what are the chances”, there’s an attempted murder and J. W. Jackson is right in the middle of it. The mystery itself is satisfying and the main subplot is interesting if a bit predictable toward the end. The pace is as slow as life in a resort area but that’s as it should be. My only quibble is that I would be entirely happy without any more scenes with Jackson’s children. Having them refer to their parents as “Ma” and “Pa” as if the action were taking place in that fabled small abode on the prairie doesn’t fit and the whole “Diana, the Huntress” routine is old. Just how charming is it that a father is constantly remarking on his daughter’s intake of food? But these are minor quibbles.

All in a all a solid installment in a solid series. Recommended for mystery series fans.

No comments: