Cover image for The Jekyl Island Club
The Jekyl Island Club
Monahan, Brent, 1948-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Minotaur, 2000.
Physical Description:
xi, 287 pages : map ; 25 cm
Format :


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Located on the idyllic Georgia coast, Jekyl Island was the playground of the rich at the turn of the century. Vanderbilts, Goulds, and other members of elite society vacationed there, enjoying the finest aspects of Southern hospitality. The club's 100 members controlled one-sixth of the nation's wealth.When one of the members dies in a suspicious hunting accident, Sheriff John Le Brun squares off with America's biggest captains of industry. Could J. P. Morgan have been the one who pulled the trigger? Le Brun must match wits with Morgan and Joseph Pulitzer to get to the bottom of the case.Rich in period detail and cleverly plotted, The Jekyl Island Club is a breakout book for one of our most clever writers.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Historical novels can be extremely tricky; historical mysteries, doubly so. As if there weren't enough details to worry about just constructing a solid mystery plot, the writer also has to keep track of all the period details: technology, clothing styles, manner of speech, and other sundry (but vitally important) matters. Monahan is up to the challenge. His latest novel combines a compelling mystery--a variation of the locked-room gimmick, with a small island substituting for the room--with fascinating characters from the very top levels of society in 1899 America. The plot seems simple: on Jekyl Island, an elite hideaway for America's richest folk, a man is murdered, and Georgia sheriff John le Brun, if he is to find the killer, must match wits with the likes of J. P. Morgan and Joseph Pulitzer. But with this cast of characters, no story could be simple, and readers will find themselves enjoying the rich period atmosphere at least as much as the crime solving. A first-class yarn. --David Pitt

Publisher's Weekly Review

A swank Southern resort for the nation's elite at the turn of the last century forms the evocative backdrop for this first mystery by horror writer Monahan (The Book of Common Dread). Prominent names like Morgan, Vanderbilt, Gould and Pulitzer gather on Jekyl Island off the coast of Georgia to be pampered in opulent seclusion. When one of the club members, Erastus Springer, is shot dead in an apparent hunting accident, the powerful close ranks. The timing of this and a subsequent stabbing death is unfortunate, as President McKinley is due to visit the island to debate the country's plans to acquire colonies. The local cop with the hard job of solving the crimes and soothing the monster egos is Sheriff John Le Brun. Possessed of a sharp mind, Le Brun isn't the bumpkin the wealthy take him for. He never really attempts to smooth the moneyed feathers. In fact, he has his own personal (and financial) reasons for stirring things up. Monahan has a deft touch with the foibles of the period; he works hard at capturing the voices of the resort's black servants, and carefully details the mechanics of practicing medicine in 1899. Instead of providing a plethora of suspects, however, he chooses to develop the personalities of the real-life tycoonsÄwhich are interesting but not plot sustaining. The mixed result is a mystery rich in social history, but poor in narrative drive. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved