When Jane is called to the remote Acadia Island to assess the damages from a house fire, she also finds a badly burned body in the charred rubble, and it turns out that the victim is the owner of the house, a wealthy woman who just happens to be one of the most hated women in town. As Jane investigates further, she becomes embroiled in a plot as thick as New England clam chowder, which involves convicted felons, a real estate scam, and the deep conflicts between the locals and the summer folks. On top of trying to find what might be a murderer on the loose, Jane is still living with her bonkers landlords, the Vickersons, who are delighted when Jane finds out that her brother Wally (who has Down’s syndrome) is going to move in with them, after losing his assisted living arrangement. It’s all Jane can do to keep all the moving pieces together, much less figure out who would want to burn someone alive—and why.
It seems like everyone in Green Haven knows that Jane Bunker has scored an invite to the ultra-exclusive Summer Solstice Soiree—and they all assume she’ll be in attendance, as one of the few eligible single women in town. Of course, that’s the last place Jane would like to be; hobnobbing and making small talk with the upper crust isn’t exactly her idea of a good time. She prefers to put in her hours working as an insurance investigator, and part-time as the deputy sheriff. When she gets to work one morning, the sheriff asks her to take a break on her personal war on drugs—it seems that she’s been so successful catching dealers and interrupting the flow of drugs in the area that she’s called too much attention to just how bad it’s gotten, and the community is worried that all the attention on the drug trade will deter the summer tourists that Green Haven so badly needs to keep the economy going.
Instead, Jane takes on a missing person case—a young woman working at the Bar Harbor Inn has disappeared. The Inn employs foreign exchange students from all over the world during the busy summer season, and the missing Bianca Chiriac is one of them. When it becomes clear that Bianca isn’t just sleeping off a late-night party, Jane is plunged into the underbelly of the resort town, and must find the missing woman before the worst happens.
Come celebrate, it’s Halloween.
Sinful, Louisiana, really knows how to throw a party, and it goes all out for Halloween. The weeklong celebration kicks off with a maze of horror in the park built of hay bales. And Fortune has the perfect assignment—the executioner. Her scene comes complete with a head block, a hatchet, and a fake body with removable head. It’s the perfect setup…for a crime.
When Fortune returns from break and realizes the body in her scene is a real one and not the prop, she knows trouble is coming. Before she can shake a broomstick, Celia Arceneaux has raised the alarm and the state police show up to take over the investigation. With Carter on the sidelines and Fortune the prime suspect, Swamp Team 3 sets out to catch a real monster.
After surviving a killer investigation, along with a couple of attempts on her life, Jane feels she’s finally earned a respite in her beautiful, coastal hometown of Green Haven, Maine. But her calm lasts only as long as it takes for Jane to walk past a local lobster boat and discover that its owner has vanished without a trace. And if that’s not enough to keep Jane off her hammock, there’s also the matter of the young mariner who allegedly died of a heroin overdose, a missing bait iron, and the red-painted corpse. What will it take for Jane to unravel the twists and turns in her latest series of maritime mysteries?
The Jane Bunker series is:
“FANTASTIC.”—Sebastian Junger, author of The Perfect Storm
“Swiftly paced!” —Entertainment Weekly