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.

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