Cover image for Murder in the rough
Murder in the rough
Borthwick, J. S.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Minotaur, [2002]

Physical Description:
338 pages : map ; 22 cm
Geographic Term:
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During an especially cold, rainy May, three families move to the recently opened Ocean Tide community on the coast of Maine. Not long after their arrival, a decaying corpse is found lying in the rough of their beautifully manicured golf course-disrupting the idyllic community. When a second body is discovered in a fertilizer shed, just yards away from the seventeenth green, the local authorities are puzzled over the sudden rash of dead bodies and their link to Ocean Tide's newest arrivals. Despite her own misgivings and her husband Alex's warnings, Sarah Deane, an English professor and sometime amateur sleuth, becomes entangled in the investigation. What she uncovers promises to rock the very foundation of the Ocean Tide community. J. S. Borthwick keeps us guessing with another sharp and literate Sarah Deane mystery.

Author Notes

J. S. Bortwick lives with her family on the Maine coast, where many of her mysteries are set.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

On the golf course of a retirement community on the coast of Maine, a dead body is discovered. In the latest Sarah Deane mystery, the recently out-of-work English professor and amateur sleuth looks into the mysterious goings-on at the development called Ocean Tide. Another body promptly turns up, and Sarah discovers that there are secrets among some of the community's residents. Like the previous entries in the series, this is a gentle novel with a stately pace and comfortable characters. (Think Murder, She Wrote without Jessica Fletcher.) The story is told in the classic whodunit format, bringing together a large cast of characters, all of whom are suspects in a drawing-room mystery (this time without the drawing room). Readers are encouraged to settle in, get to know the players, soak up the cozy ambience, and see if they can figure out the solution. Those who favor past-paced plots, hard-edged dialogue, and plenty of action may find this novel a tad lethargic, but one reader's lethargy is another's cozy. --David Pitt

Publisher's Weekly Review

Ph.D. and soon-to-be English professor Sarah Deane reluctantly returns to sleuthing in this assured contemporary cozy by veteran Borthwick (Coup de Grce, etc.). Sarah's in-laws, Elspeth and John McKenzie, have left the academic world of Cambridge, Mass., to live in the new, perfectly planned and designed Maine community of Ocean Tide. With bike trails, golf course, pool, beach and a breathtaking view of Penobscot Bay, the place should be perfect for the couple, but John is having trouble adjusting. John's son, Alex, and Sarah hope that he'll eventually fit in, but his misgivings prove to be well founded. The discovery of a dead body (delicately depicted on the dust jacket with no traces of violence) on the pristine golf course is just the first in a series of catastrophic events that soon affect the whole family. Sarah, known for her past crime-solving experience, promises herself that she won't get involved in the investigation. As the family becomes more entangled, she remains resolute until circumstances lead her into personal danger. While the reader may be as frustrated as Sarah by her vow to remain aloof, her doing so helps us better understand the lovable, realistic McKenzie family. Their down-to-earth personalities provide a vivid contrast to the Disneyland-like community and its driven director and staff. From the fog that sometimes engulfs the land to the crystal clear Maine days, this novel will delight existing Borthwick fans and should attract new ones. (Mar. 25) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved