Conquill Press (2013)
Reviewed by Sheri Bebee for Reader Views (01/14)
Article first published as Review: ‘Cold Coast’ by Jennifer LeClair on Blogcritics.
“Cold Coast” by Jenifer LeClair is the third book in a series of murder mysteries featuring Brie Beaumont. In this story we find Brie as second-mate with the crew of the Maine Wind. Brie has been on a leave of absence from the Minneapolis Police Department Homicide Division since her last case, during which her partner was shot and killed. The Maine Wind makes her way to the lobster fishing village of Tucker Harbor and docks after a storm. The following day during a hiking tour by the passengers, the body of Jake Maloney is found at the end of Last Reckoning Road. When Maine State Police Detective Dent Fenton requested Brie assist in the case she knew she couldn’t turn him down. The investigations seems to be pretty straightforward until Brie discovers that a second death, one of a research scientist that occurred four years earlier, is somehow tied to the Maloney murder. All is not what it seems - the web of conspiracy and deception is tightly woven and the investigation takes some very surprising turns.
“Cold Coast” is superbly written. The characters are easy to follow and well developed – I could even hear their “Mainer’s” accent. Brie is a strong female protagonist but in an endearing way, not the stereotypical hard-nosed female law enforcement officer. The descriptions of the harbor and the coast were exceptionally vivid – I easily envisioned the total dampness and dreariness of the day brought upon by the fog and the storm, and I was so clearly in that New England town with the characters. LeClair captured the total essence of a New England village – down to Earth – simply good living (well, except for a couple of murders)! I also appreciate that LeClair took the time to include a glossary of sailing terms and that they were written so us land-lubbers could understand!
I really enjoyed this book, and I look forward to reading the first two books in the Windjammer series. Each book is an independent story and enough background information was included so I didn’t feel like I missed anything by reading this one first. 5 Stars – excellent read!