Sea-born Women (Paperback)B.J. Mountford (author)
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On North Carolina's Outer Banks, there is a legend about Sea-born Woman, whose timely birth saved her Irish emigrant ship from being destroyed by pirates nearly 300 years ago. The ghost of the Sea-born Woman is said to give aid to sailors around Portsmouth Island even today. Roberta "Bert" Lenehan is a latter-day sea-born woman who comes to the island as a National Park Service volunteer. Bert is between jobs and lovers, and she believes that a three-month stint as caretaker of Portsmouth village-a remote, pristine, picturesque ghost town-is what she needs to soothe her soul. She soon learns differently. One of the previous caretakers died under mysterious circumstances, and another woman turns up dead on the island shortly after her arrival. From park ranger Hunter O'Hagan, she hears rumors of artifact hunters digging illegally on Portsmouth and learns the story of Hunter's distant ancestor Jerushia Spriggs O'Hagan, the original Sea-born Woman. Who is the killer stalking the island? And what bearing do a murdered pirate and centuries-old legend have on the crimes? Those are the questions Bert is pressured to answer as a hurricane bears down on the island and she finds herself the target of a killer.
Publisher: John F Blair Publisher
Number of pages: 306
Weight: 376 g
Dimensions: 216 x 140 x 16 mm
After restless Roberta (aka Bert) Lenehan comes to Portsmouth Island, N.C., to volunteer for the National Parks Service, she finds the body of a woman in the island's marsh; a previous park caretaker had met a different mysterious end. In B.J. Mountford's Sea-born Women, Bert tries to uncover the truth does the island hide a deadly treasure-hunter? Is a long-dead pirate guarding his grave? How does the legend of the Sea-born Woman relate to the crimes? as bad weather threatens and romance with a younger man blossoms. -Publishers Weekly
Roberta "Bert" Lenehan expects peace and quiet when she accepts a job as caretaker on the remote, picturesque island village of Portsmouth, North Carolina. Bruised by a recent breakup, Bert plans to open a restaurant after a stint of solitude, but solitude never comes. Nosy locals like womanizing Jimmy Range and earth mother Lettie Jones disturb her by day and ghostly sounds unsettle her by night. One welcome disturbance is rugged forest ranger Hunter O'Hagan, with whom Bert flirts outrageously. He tells her the legend of his ancestor, the 18th-century "sea-born woman" Jerushia, whose spirit supposedly haunts the island (and whose chapters counterpoint those in the present following Bert). Bert listens attentively because of her recent experience with creepy night noises, because she herself is a sea-born woman (born aboard her father's boat), and because she's falling in love with Hunter, despite feeling that he's too young for her. The line between legend and reality becomes dangerously blurred when the corpse of a meddlesome local woman named Luna Mae is found in an island marsh, with murder suspected, and Bert learns that Luna Mae was not the first Portsmouth corpse in recent memory. A previous caretaker died under mysterious circumstances, a fact conveniently concealed from Bert before she took the job. Does the legend of Jerushia connect the island's modern-day mysteries?
Plot coherence in Mountford's debut gets swamped by descriptions of exotic settings and homely everyday activities. Romantic suspense 1, whodunit 0. -Kirkus Reviews
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