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Nantucket Counterfeit: A Henry Kennis Mystery


Nantucket Counterfeit: A Henry Kennis Mystery

When the body of Horst Refn, the Artistic Director of the Nantucket Theater Lab whose main claim to fame might be “most despicable man about town,” was found stuffed in his basement freezer, no one was particularly surprised. In fact, the suspects nearly had to take a number at police headquarters. Police Chief Henry Kennis is acquainted with him because Henry’s girlfriend, a successful mystery writer, is active in the arts community. She, in fact, is one of the many suspects because she is identified by a local resident as running from the scene of the crime.

Small-town little theater, especially in a tight-knit group where everybody knows everybody and their business, is rife with gossip: who sleeps with who, who got star billing and why, whose off-off-Broadway script might be selected for production, and other petty jealousies. If one were cynical, one might wonder why it took so long for somebody to finally relieve Nantucket of its Artistic Director, whose reputation as a blackmailer, philanderer and womanizer was notorious. Ironically, the current play now in rehearsal is entitled “Who Dun It” and was written by a local wannabe playwright. The second act curtain will fall as a primary character, a prominent local judge, is poisoned.

"...a tasty little cozy, delivered with humor and witty dialogue, and featuring a beguiling cast of characters."

A retired LAPD detective, Henry fled the crime-ridden streets of La La Land a few years ago for the peace and quiet of the sleepy little island resort town off the Northeast coast. He is still thought of as a “washashore” by the year-round residents, comprised mostly of tradesmen and shopkeepers who keep the place running. Those who put down roots find it as close to living in a foreign country as you can get without having to apply for a new passport. Nantucket is frequented seasonally by the old guard, ultra-wealthy owners of the coastline palatial mansions and summer vacationers.

Henry is now top gun of the local constabulary charged with keeping law and order. By now, he is on a first-name basis with nearly everyone on the island, but it doesn’t take him long to realize that crime is crime no matter where or who you are. It actually may seem worse as you are increasingly accepted as a townie, because you are more than likely acquainted with the victims and even the perps. In this case, he learns that everything in Refn’s world is counterfeit --- names, identities, relationships and millions of dollars in offshore cash.

NANTUCKET COUNTERFEIT, the fifth installment in Steven Axelrod’s delightful series, is a tasty little cozy, delivered with humor and witty dialogue, and featuring a beguiling cast of characters. Even if you've never been involved in little theater, you will be entertained as Henry tries to sort out “Who Dun It” from the clues that pile up like flotsam and jetsam after high tide.

Reviewed by Roz Shea on November 9, 2018

Nantucket Counterfeit: A Henry Kennis Mystery
by Steven Axelrod

  • Publication Date: October 16, 2018
  • Genres: Fiction, Mystery
  • Hardcover: 276 pages
  • Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
  • ISBN-10: 146421039X
  • ISBN-13: 9781464210396