Jenifer LeClair is a Minnesota murder writer who has spent time sailing aboard Maine windjammers since 1995. Her novel RIGGED FOR MURDER won a 2009 Independent Publishers Award for Best Regional Fiction and the 2009 RebeccasReads Award for Best Mystery/Thriller.
Brie Beaumont is a homicide detective on a leave of absence after being shot in a case, which killed her partner. Still feeling vulnerable, Brie joins the crew of the Maine Wind Sail, and they quickly become family. Brie is starting a romance with the handsome Captain, which is another source of conflict for her already tortured emotions. When the crew sails to Sentinel Island to help an old friend with repairs on an old lighthouse, Brie meets a young woman who is worried about her piano teacher/mother figure. The teacher is a beautiful artist who stirs feelings among more than one unattached male on the island. Acting on a hunch, Brie searches her house, which offer up grisly clues that all is not right on the island. She decides to eavesdrop on a secret meeting taking place at the public library:
"Afraid not. She won't be coming back, John. I went back to her cottage and caught Adam Blake ransacking her desk in search of something. Wendy showed up and he told her he was looking for Amanda's appointment book, which I don't believe for a minute. But I think Wendy bought it. After they both left, I looked around the cottage again. I'm not going to go into the details, but to my way of thinking, there are unmistakable signs of foul play."
Brie Beaumont is a heroine who is fun to cheer for, as she's been mortally wounded and is working her way through her experiences to try to move forward. LeClair has an impressive knowledge of sailing, which makes for a great backdrop for a mystery. There is something compelling about the sea, particularly when it claims a murder victim. LeClair weaves a yarn that draws in the reader from the first page.