In between the early 87th precinct novels, McBain dashed this quick mystery out. You can read it before the light changes. It is a good one about a man whose drowned wife may have been murdered.
Zach Blake’s wife drowned a year ago while they were renting a house in Martha’s Vineyard. He gets a letter from a resident saying it wasn’t an accident. Trouble starts as soon as he gets there. The rental agent’s daughter says the house has been rented for the summer.
Zach says he sent a deposit and he’s not leaving. She says their salesman already rented it out. Zach says, too bad. With him is his nine year old daughter Penny.
They go to a souvenir shop and he buys Penny a tomahawk and they go to the letter writer’s house. She’s dead. She was killed with a tomahawk. Not wanting to get involved with the police, he leaves.
Zach is a radio commentator and a local free lance writer stops by for an interview. She’s Enid Murphy, a good looking blonde. She invites him to a party. He leaves Penny with a babysitter. It’s a boring artsy crowd, especially Freddy Barton. He goes around to various regattas sailing his inherited boat. At the party Blake gets a call telling him to get out of the house and off the Vineyard.
Enid goes back to the house with him. Penny’s been kidnapped and the babysitter has been knocked out.
No wasted words in this one. If you like fast paced mysteries, pick this one up.