I discovered another new (to me) author on the same foray to the library when I found Aunt Dimity. Wouldn’t you know it, the first book of this series wasn’t there either. I settled for another second book. This one was Murder with Puffins by Donna Andrews.
Meg and Michael escape their crowded living conditions on the mainland by braving the elements at her Aunt Phoebe’s summer house on a Maine island. Just as they make it to the island the ferry is closed down because Hurricane Gladys is bearing down on the island. It will just make their getaway more romantic they decide philosophically, until they show up at Aunt Phoebe’s house and discover Aunt Phoebe, Mrs. Fenniman, Meg’s parents, and Rob, her brother, arrived the day before.
Romance is precluded in such conditions. With no privacy and a borderline crazy family Meg and Michael are swept into many wet adventures. The first occurs as they try to hike around the drenched island. As they round the path to Meg’s favorite view they are threatened at gun point by an artist who claims no one can use the path.
The next day the artist turns up dead and Meg’s family becomes the prime suspect. The murdered artist had romantic ties to Meg’s mother in her youth. Her Aunt Phoebe was furious with him because of his avowed unconcern with the local puffin population and the environment.
In an effort to save her family meg plunges head first into investigating what really happened. Michael joins her in the investigation, and together they uncover a multitude of people with motive to murder the man. Will they figure out who really did it before the mainland police can cross to the island and arrest Aunt Phoebe, who confesses rather spectacularly? And just what was Meg’s mother’s connection to the dead artist.
It’s a fun story, with clues galore. I thoroughly enjoyed it. There weren’t any explicit scenes and the bad language was kept to a minimal amount. I’ll be reading the rest of the series.