Night Watch: An Em Ridge Mystery
by Linda Hall

Alexandria Publishing Group, 2014. ISBN 978-0-987-76137-8.
Reviewed by Barbara Heming
Posted on 03/02/2015

Fiction: Mystery

With Night Watch, Linda Hall launches a new series of nautical mysteries set on the coast of Maine.

Long time sailor but newly licensed captain, Emmaline (Em) Ridge is hired to deliver a luxury fifty-foot sailboat from New Brunswick, Canada to Bermuda for provisioning, and then on to Nassau in the Bahamas. For Em, captaining the Blue Peace is a dream come true. It is also a new start in life after her husband's death two years earlier, though she is still grieving. With great anticipation, she sets sail with three crew members and Kricket, the owner's daughter. A couple of days into the voyage, the dream turns into a nightmare when Kricket goes overboard and drowns during the night watch, and the Blue Peace is escorted by the Coast Guard to Portland, where the death will be investigated.

Both the character development and the plot of this mystery are masterfully crafted. Hall populates her story with complex characters who possess both strengths and weaknesses. They are characters for whom the past intersects the present, and are not necessarily who they seem to be, from the crew member who signed on at the last moment, to the handsome captain who steps forward to offer Em support, to her eccentric neighbors, and even to her late husband. The plot twists in surprising ways, yet each turn emerges from the virtues and foibles of the characters.

For a landlubber like me, Hall offers a step into the world afloat, as well as an engaging, fast-paced mystery. I could almost smell the salt air as I turned the pages and followed Em along the coast and out to the islands, trying to unravel the mystery. Night Watch inaugurates what is sure to be a captivating new series. I look forward to being aboard Em's next voyage.

Linda Hall spent the early years of her writing career as a journalist and freelance writer. In 1990, she began working on her first novel. Linda grew up in New Jersey where her love of the ocean was born, so most of her novels have something to do with the sea. She is married to a Canadian, Rik, who loves the water just as much as she does; they spend summers aboard their 34' sailboat, aptly named Mystery. Both of them have achieved the rank of Senior Navigator, the highest rank possible in CPS. Rik and Linda have two grown children and seven wonderful grandchildren. Visit her website.

Authors/Publicists: For promotion purposes, you may quote excerpts of up to 200 words from our reviews, with a link to the page on which the review is posted. ©Copyright to the review is held by the writer (review posting date appears on the review page). If you wish to reprint the full review, you may do so ONLY with her written permission, and with a link to Contact our Book Review Editor (bookreviews at with your request and she will forward it to the appropriate person. has received a copy of this book for review from the author, publisher, or publicist. We have received no other compensation.

StoryCircleBookReviews provides a review venue for women self-published authors and for women's books published by independent and university presses.

Email me with news about your book reviews

Sarton Women's Book Award

Your ad could be here.
Advertise with us!


Visit us on Facebook and Twitter and goodreads.

Buy books online through by simply clicking on the book cover or title. Your purchase will support our work of encouraging all women to tell their stories.
This title is currently available ONLY as an e-book