Reviews - What do customers think about Rigged For Murder (Windjammer Mysteries)?
engaging New Englander whodunit Jun 21, 2008
Still suffering from PTSD following the death of her police partner Phil and blaming herself, Minneapolis homicide detective Brie Beaumont takes a needed leave of absence. Brie recalls her favorite childhood activity was sailing with her dad in command of their vessel until he died from a heart attack at only forty-eight years old. Realizing being away from the job is not enough as Phil haunts her every step, she leaves town booking a sailing tour starting in Camden Harbor, Maine on the schooner Maine Wind captained by John DuLac.
However, a storm forces the captain and crew to seek haven in Granite Island Harbor. At dinner, Pete McAllister flirts outrageously with Alyssa Lindstrom, whose husband Rob angrily threatens to kill the womanizer and his wife. At 3:15 AM, a screaming hysterical Alyssa wakes up everyone having discovered the murdered corpse of Pete. Detective Beaumont offers her investigative skills and DuLac accepts. Thus the cop and the captain try to uncover the identity of a killer although the jealous spouse is the prime suspect.
Admiration of each other's talent turns into an attraction between Brie and John that is used to enhance an engaging New Englander whodunit. Readers will believe they are sailing on the schooner and waiting out the storm at Granite Harbor as Jenifer LeClair vividly captures the Maine background in the Windjammer mystery. With a strong support cast including the capable crew, the battling passengers, and the eccentric islanders to add depth, fans will enjoy RIGGED FOR MURDER.
Mysterious Reviews review Jun 20, 2008
A sailor herself since she was 17 years old, St. Paul Minnesota author Jenifer LeClair has rigged her first novel in her Windjammer Series into a winning combination of psychological thriller, police procedural, and action adventure. It's a five-star launch for her aptly named sea-going series and hopefully a precursor for an armada of others to follow.
At thirty-six, Brie Beaumont, as LeClair tells it, has got twelve years of service as a veteran detective with the Minneapolis Police Force. She's recovering from the trauma of a shooting in which her partner was killed and she's bearing the burden of guilt. Now with a leave of absence, she's returned to her childhood summertime solace at seaside Maine on a windjammer cruise to hopefully heal her psyche and wash away her burden. But it doesn't work that way when a murder occurs on board the windjammer "Maine Wind" where she's a passenger and she's forced into the detective's role she was hoping to escape. With only long distance police backup from Minneapolis but no direct access to the CSI technology available there, she now has to revert to her basic instincts and fundamental Sherlockian techniques to assess clues, question the eight passengers and crew on the jammer, analyze them and herself and conclude who had the means, motive and opportunity to impale the victim with the marlin spike found in his chest during an overnight storm. Within the close confines of the ship and a nearby island where they shelter from the storm, Brie believes, "At least the killer can't escape; nowhere to go." And so it seems as she interviews each of the passengers and crew, each with his or her stories to tell, sometimes forthrightly, sometimes tripped up by their own lies about voyeurism, homosexuality, womanizing, jealousy, or past lives, and sometimes caught in Brie's net as she toys with a piece of frayed rope, making and unmaking sailors' knots, trying to unravel the strands of her past or tie down her currently surging feelings for ship's captain John Dulac. It's a process in which she discovers that "finding the truth was somewhat like sifting through sand looking for salt." And while she seeks and sifts, the sea whips around the ship and the island retreat with moods as varied and unpredictable as the motives that wash over the novel's characters and sail them towards a surprisingly action-packed and riveting ending.
Tightly written and intricately constructed, LeClair's "Rigged for Murder" is first-class storytelling in a setting so authentic you can hear the ocean's roar and taste the salt from the sea.
-END- M. Wayne Cunningham
An engaging read Jun 9, 2008
Reviewed by Richard R. Blake for Reader Views (6/08)
Homicide Detective Brie Beaumont has taken a leave of absence from the Minneapolis Police Department. Brie is working through unresolved issues and nightmares from post traumatic stress since the death of her partner Phil.
"Rigged for Murder" is the first in The Windjammer Mystery Series written by Jenifer LeClair.
Within the first chapter I found myself engaged vicariously as I experienced the gale force winds and storm-washed deck of the Maine Wind as Captain John DuLac "fought to turn the ship's rudder in the heavy seas."
The captain and crew changed the course of the battered schooner and soon safely anchor in the harbor off the Coast of Granite Island, to wait out the storm's fury.
Dinner aboard the Windjammer became a study in group dynamics as tensions built, passengers became edgy, and crew members voiced innuendos and insults at one another. Womanizer, Pete McAllister, bantered with flirtatious, Alyssa Lindstrom, until her husband, Rob Lindstrom exploded with jealously and threats. This storm created a new tension matching that of the storm still brewing outside the ship.
As LeClair skillfully introduced her cast of characters, made up of the ship's crew and passengers, I found myself matching wits with Brie as I speculated, first on who would be the murder victim, and secondly who might be the most likely suspect.
A scream in the early morning hours brought the ship to life as Alyssa Lindstrom discovered the body of a murder victim. A disabled radio made it impossible to contact the Coast Guard. Detective Beaumont and Captain DuLac took charge of an investigation and soon moved the body to Granite Island. Long time friends of DuLac operated a bed and breakfast inn on the island and soon the investigation was transferred to the library of the lodge.
A thread of possible romance develops as Brie, smitten by John's good looks, admires his strength and calm as he conquered the winds and waves of the sea, as well as the way he faced the crisis of a murder during his cruise. John in turn was impressed with Brie's beauty, her mysterious demeanor and her expert way of examining evidence, interviewing suspects, and her strength of character.
A strong plot, non-stop action, and first-class character development combine to make this an exciting, page-turning adventure novel. Adding to the tension, intrigue, and mystery is the meticulous care in researching the details and terminology of sailing, lobstering, and the Maine coastal islands and communities.
I have added Jenifer LeClair to my list of "must read" authors and I am eagerly looking forward to the sequel to "Rigged for Murder," another story of high seas adventure, murder, intrigue, and romance.
Anxiously Waiting Book Two of the Series Apr 2, 2008
"A dirty sky boiled overhead as the Maine Wind beat a course through heavy seas toward Granite Island. Blasts of wind heeled the ship over, and banshees wailed up and down her rigging. Her old timbers groaned as if she were in labor, but she plowed on under deeply reefed sails." What a masterful mood setter. Jenifer LeClair kept me guessing with a finely-tuned plot filled with twists and turns. The author draws strong characters, capturing a cross section of humanity, from Captain DuLac, a man with many strengths but a weakness for Detective Brie Beaumont, to the pathetic and confused Alyssa. And what's not to like about colorful and quirky Fred Klemper, the general store owner on Granite Island. "Rigged for Murder" is fast-paced, and it draws you in. I couldn't put it down. (And for the critic from GA, on my sailboat I furl my jib sail but fold the mainsail over the boom.)
What a fun read Mar 27, 2008
I just finished reading this and found it quite enjoyable. As somewhat of a mystery connoisseur I pride myself on predicting the conclusions to many books, but I have to say that this one kept me guessing right up until the end. This may have been due partly to the wide array of characters introduced throughout the story, many of whom are very well drawn, with interesting back-stories. I particularly liked the way Leclair describes some of the inhabitants of Granite Island, who add both humor and an air of New England charm to the story. I also thought the coastal Maine setting of the book was quite unique- something I haven't come across before in a mystery series. I would say if you're looking for an entertaining mystery intermingled with a touch of romance, this book won't disappoint.