J.W. Jackson
Created by Philip R. Craig

Former cop J.W. "JEFF" JACKSON had enough of the mean streets of Boston. Thanks to a little shrapnel in his leg via Vietnam and a bullet lodged in his spine from his days in the Boston P.D., as well as a couple of pensions and a bit of income from odd jobs, he's able to retire, at the ripe old age of thirty-five, to Martha's Vineyard for some peace and quiet, and to maybe do a little fishing, a little clam digging, a little cooking and maybe a little lovin' with his inamorata, the lovely and witty Zee Maderias, a local nurse. Mind you, he's not exactly living in the lap of luxury. He lives on the cheap, buys second-hand salvages furniture from the town dump, and drives a fourteen year old Landcruiser. He's not exactly the most rip-snortin', two-fisted guy either. He's just a peaceful softboiled guy who, although he's not a licensed P. I. or anything, manages to get into some pretty private-eye-like situations for a guy that's about as hardboiled as a PBS cooking show host.

A good series, lightweight to be sure, but a pleasant way to pass a few hours. The later books find Jeff settling deeper and deeper into domesticity. Definitely a comfort read. The setting is nicely handled, capturing the laidback, fun-in-the-sun ambience of the Vineyard during the "season," and the desolate "where have all the good times gone?" feel of the "off-season." One complaint, though -- at least the first two books share the same quips, observations and local lore, sometimes word for word. It's as though the success of the first novel caught Craig unaware and he rushed to produce a sequel.

NOVELS

Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith. Thanks, Mike, for the tip.


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