Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars
Summer on Martha’s Vineyard is always hectic. It’s been that way for almost four decades thanks to the island being the home location of the popular film, “Jaws.” This summer is especially busy because the fictional Amity Island is hosting the 2nd JawsFest and thousands of fans of the film are expected. Chief of Police Laurie Knickles is already planning on her staff being stretched. But when an apparent shark attack victim shows up off shore she must rely on an old friend for help.
Smartly written, “The JAWSFest Murders” is a tidy murder mystery that is thoroughly entertaining, even if you’ve never heard of the movie “Jaws.” Our hero, Charles Williams, is a fan of the film who plans to meet up with his fellow “Finatics” to celebrate the film they love. Charles is surprised to find that an old friend is now the top cop on the island. An amateur sleuth himself, Charles is intrigued when the Chief tells him about a body that appears to have been attacked by a shark. The irony that it happened during “JawsFest” is not lost on either of them. Only later do they discover that the victim had been shot prior to being dumped in the drink. The Chief captures Charles’ total attention when the name of the victim is announced: Karl Bass, one of Charles’ on-line “Jaws” pals. The plot intensifies as more fans, and friends, mysteriously die.
Part of the joy of “The JawsFest Murders” is exploring the island of Martha’s Vineyard. Author Haskins is so descriptive of the layout of towns like Oak Bluffs, Vineyard Haven and Edgartown that the book almost reads like a Fodor’s Guide. Like I mentioned, you don’t have to know anything about “Jaws” to enjoy the book. However if, like me, you’re a fan of the film, you can look forward to several inside bits, some that sneak up on you. I was 50 pages in before I realized that the majority of the characters were named after the kids featured in “Jaws” and “Jaws 2.” Haskins doesn’t hit you over the head with “Jaws” but gives readers enough information to make them understand the passion of the fans.
“The JAWSFest Murders” is something the actual 2012 JAWSFest wasn’t – Entertaining!
Check out our interview with Crispin Nathaniel Haskins, here
To order your copy of “The JAWSFEST Murders” please visit www.marthasvineyardmysteries.com