I'll start by saying ignore the back of the book. The publisher's description is incorrect - although Charlie found the body, he was never one of the prime suspects.
Briar Creek is in an upheaval after a salvage company arrives with plans to dig up Captain Kidd's buried treasure, which can supposedly be found somewhere on Pirate Island. It sounds too amazing to be true, except that Mr. Riordan, the owner of the salvage company, has Captain Kidd's very own treasure map. The treasure hunt could turn Pirate Island into a huge tourist attraction, but it would also cause ecological damage. While Milton Duffy, a well-known and well-liked member of the Friends of the Library, tries to protect the island, Trudi Hargrave, the head of Briar Creek's tourism department, does everything she can to help Riordan's work move forward. Then Trudi turns up murdered, and Lindsey finds herself in the thick of things as usual.
This is probably the best book in the series so far. I loved the way the mystery tied in with Briar Creek's history. If I had one complaint about the way things worked out, it was that it took a lot longer than I expected for Trudi to finally be murdered. Which sounds terrible, but waiting so long for the death I knew was supposed to happen made the book drag a little. Plus, Trudi was kind of annoying.
The fact that Sully and Lindsey were finally dating didn't lessen Sully's appeal. I was happy to see that Sully was still giving Beth rides and waiting to make sure she got into her house okay before driving off. Little things like that really demonstrated that he wasn't just being nice in the previous books in order to spend more time with Lindsey. He also handled the sudden appearance of Lindsey's ex-fiance, John, surprisingly well. I expected aggravating amounts of jealousy, and instead he opted to trust Lindsey, stand back (mostly), and let her deal with John in her own way. Unfortunately,
McKinlay opted to throw all of this out the window at the end of the book. It was very sudden and felt out of character for Sully, even taking into account the amount of stress he was under.
I continued to like Officer Emma Plewicki - I hope she gets more page-time in future books. The real surprise, however, was Chief Daniels. In the first book he was a stereotypical small town cop, too focused on his initial assumptions to even consider other possibilities. In this latest book, he had visibly mellowed, and I actually found myself liking him.
This was a great entry in the series, although I'm worried about what the ending will mean for the next book. Crossing my fingers that McKinlay doesn't drag this development out too long.
- The Briar Creek Library Guide to Crafternoons
- Readers Guide for The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
- Lindsey's pattern for her cross-stitch sampler ("Books are my homeboys.")
- Recipe for Charlene's cucumber cups stuffed with feta
(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)