Plot Twist: Australian Doctor Turns Out to Be Thrilling Writer
Holly Nadler

Many of today’s top writers of thrillers have spent untold hours in the actual forensics and crime fields, and Australian doctor and bestselling author Kathryn Fox is one of them. Dr. Fox will be signing her new book, Skin and Bone, in tandem with the Vineyard’s own celebrated maestro of the legal and police procedural, Linda Fairstein for her latest, Killer Heat (see right), at Edgartown Books today, July 4, at 3 p.m.

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She Can Stand the Killer Heat
Holly Nadler

KILLER HEAT. By Linda Fairstein. Doubleday, 2008. 384 pages. $26 hardcover.

Killer Heat, like any good title, is a play on words. It refers to death by New York oven — the baking August temperatures that send the rich to the Hamptons or the Vineyard, and the poor to their fire escapes for a breath of nighttime air. Killer Heat is also a reference to an actual killer or killers and to the heat, slang for law, that hunts ’em down and brings ’em to justice.

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Through the Lens of Louisa Gould
Tom Dunlop

WOODEN BOATS OF MARTHA’S VINEYARD: The Photography of Louisa Gould. Text and photographs by Louisa Gould. Flat Hammock Press, 2008. 64 pages. $19.95, softcover.

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Read Easy: In the Sea, at the Beach House
Holly Nadler

A SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR LANDLOCKED MERMAIDS by Margot Datz, Beyond Words, $16.

Vineyard artist and writer Margot Datz posits a universe where men, taking a page from Darwin, descended as apes from the trees, whereas women “rose up from the frothy sea, as resplendent as Aphrodite on her scalloped chariot.” But the mating call is more persistent than the tug of a thick rope, so we mermaids have “abandoned our psychic habitat to seek mates on shore, and we have been like fish out of water ever since.” Ain’t that the truth?

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America’s Middle Class, Listen Up
Mike Seccombe

The litany of complaints of the squeezed middle class is familiar.

Three million jobs gone overseas this decade. People working all their lives on the promise of pensions they don’t get. Declining availability of health care. Parents believing, for the first time in U.S. history, that their children will not do as well as they did.

“Everyone knows that recitation,” said Philip Dine.

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Find Simple Pleasures, Perfectly Formed
Holly Nadler

MARTHA’S VINEYARD QUIET PLEASURES. By Phyllis Meras with photographs by Betsy Corsiglia. Globe-Pequot Press, Guilford, Conn. 96 pages, $16.95 hardcover.

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Book Notes for Smaller Readers to Plug Into, Cuddle Up With
Holly Nadler

WIRED. By Anastasia Suen, illustrated by Paul Carrick. Charlesbridge, $6.95. This book, now out in paperback, is an excellent insight into how electricity works, particularly as it pertains to the energy dancing beneath our fingertips as they tap along a computer keyboard, and as it flows or, just as importantly, pauses, at the outlet under our desk. Ostensibly Wired is a learning tool for the elementary school student, but anyone of any age could benefit from it, for who among us outside of M.I.T.

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About a Boy, a Boat, and a Love of All Things Old and Wooden
Mark Alan Lovewell

SLOOP: Restoring My Family’s Wooden Sailboat, An Adventure in Old-Fashioned Values. By Daniel Robb. Simon & Schuster, New York, N.Y. 2007. 318 pages with photographs. $25.

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Whodunnit? Philip Craig, in Last Book
Holly Nadler

VINEYARD CHILL. By Philip R. Craig. Scribner. New York, N.Y. 2008. 256 pages. $24, hardcover.

A popular young Island barmaid has gone missing. An old buddy turns up who invariably brings trouble like a perverse hostess gift. It’s winter on Martha’s Vineyard and all’s well with J.W. Jackson, wife Zee, and their two small children — if you overlook a murder or two, and a couple of thugs rolling off the ferry in a yellow Mercedes convertible in search of ill-gotten loot.

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Book review: Remarkable Americans
Phyllis Meras

Remarkable Americans: > The Washburn Family. By Kerck Kelsey. Illustrated. Tilbury House Publishers. 402 pages. $25.95.

Since the 1950s, the Washburn name has been a familiar one in Edgartown, with the late Stanley Washburn living on South Water street in summer and C. Langhorne Washburn summering on Pease’s Point Way. This fact-filled volume tells the story of their 19th-century forebears from northern Maine.

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