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Book details
  • Genre:FICTION
  • SubGenre:Mystery & Detective / Women Sleuths
  • Language:English
  • Pages:288
  • eBook ISBN:9798893726015
  • Paperback ISBN:9798893726435

The Washashore Murders

A Nor'easter Island Mystery

by Judy Tierney

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Murder on Nor'easter Island? Never, and especially not when the summer tourists are gone and winter is setting in. Almost no one in the small community of year-rounders believes reporter Dita Redmond when she insists the death of island fisherman Joel Berliner was murder. When another islander dies of an apparent drug overdose, Dita wonders if someone killed him also, and this time others quietly agree. As Dita researches and snoops, her life is threatened. She realizes the killer is close by. But when brought face to face, she is stunned by the scope of the betrayal.
A murder on summer resort Nor'easter Island? Never, and especially not in the quiet season, when all the tourists have gone home and only 1000 or so year-round islanders stay through the winter. The death of Joel Berliner, an island fisherman whose body washed ashore on Laughing Gull Beach, was a surprise, but not totally unexpected. The island buzz was that Joel, who had had some mental health issues years back, committed suicide. But Island Gale reporter Dita Redmond saw him twice the day he disappeared and he was in good spirits. She also knew he wouldn't have gone out to sea on a day when a gale was moving in. He had told her as much the morning he disappeared. She thinks he was murdered. Joel's mother urges her to investigate. Dita has her own crises to deal with. Her biological clock is ticking, and she must decide whether or not to start a family on the meager income she and her husband Sean earn on Nor'easter Island. They might have to move to the mainland if their finances don't improve. Not long after Joel's funeral, another islander dies before his time. Sonny, an alcoholic who hangs at the local pub, overdoses on heroin. No one can recall him ever using drugs other than liquor nor did he have the money to buy them. Dita questions the official reports of both men's deaths that attribute one to a probable suicide and the other to an accidental OD. She digs into the lives of the deceased, interviewing and questioning their contacts. And, she attempts to discover who is behind the heroin. There are few secrets on a small island like Nor'easter. Everyone knows everyone else, and their business. So, it seems, but Dita learns that some secrets are better kept than others. Her prying unnerves the killers and they dispatch someone to stop her, even pursuing her with gunfire. She escapes, but is consumed with fear. She knows her stalker is probably an acquaintance, or even worse, a friend. She suspects her neighbor Karl, a lazy, beer-drinking policeman on the local force who seems to always be in her way when she is investigating the story, or Trent, an art dealer from New York who is wintering on the island for no apparent reason. He was the last person seen with Joel. She continues to unravel the mystery, and her life is endangered yet again. She survives, and she solves the murder but her satisfaction is momentary, as now she is faced with heart rending betrayal.
About the author
Judy Tierney lived as a washashore on Block Island, RI for fourteen years. Prior to moving there year-round she was a long-time summer cottager, vacationing there with her family, her beloved dog Tuffy and a cantankerous cat. She worked as a correspondent for the Block Island Times and won three New England Press Awards for her work at that newspaper. Her book of essays and memoirs, Passing Time in Winter, Block Island Style, written in 2021, recalls her life as a washashore. In her mainland years, she was a clinical specialist in psychiatric- mental health and an environmental activist.