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Philip R. Craig Books In Order

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Publication Order of Martha's Vineyard Mysteries Books

A Beautiful Place to Die (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Woman Who Walked Into the Sea / Death in Vineyard Waters (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Double Minded Men / Vineyard Deceit (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
Cliff Hanger / Vineyard Fear (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
Off Season (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Case of Vineyard Poison (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death on a Vineyard Beach (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Deadly Vineyard Holiday (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Shoot on Martha's Vineyard (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Fatal Vineyard Season (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
Vineyard Blues (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
Vineyard Shadows (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
Vineyard Enigma (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Vineyard Killing (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder at a Vineyard Mansion (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
Vineyard Prey (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dead in Vineyard Sand (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
Vineyard Stalker (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
Vineyard Chill (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Brady Coyne/J.W. Jackson Books

with William G. Tapply

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn (1969)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Publication Order of Anthologies

AZ Murder Goes... Artful(1997)Description / Buy at Amazon

Author Philip R. Craig was born December 10, 1933, and grew up on a tiny cattle ranch that was located near Durango, Colorado, along with his three brothers and one sister. The first time a horse threw him (it was a huge Palomino mare), he was only four years old, and later would ride drag on the yearly cattle drives that took two days. This place did not have running water or electricity until he was about nine or ten, but there were plenty of books. This made the times happy ones.

During his time at school, he became an expert in both the Tarzan books and the Campfire Girls novels. Right around this time, he started writing prose and poetry. His writing continued while in high school, due to one excellent teacher, named Sharley Pike, a teacher that loved those who enjoyed writing and books.

Craig later went to Boston University, and became an All-American in fencing. He originally went to the college to become a minister, and would end up getting a degree in philosophy and religion. Before he graduated, though, he become more interested in writing and literature, however. While at the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, he got his M.F.A.

Craig did not become a published author until the age of 35, when his first book was published in 1969. His second wasn’t published until he was in his mid fifties.

He died on May 8, 2007 after a short fight with cancer.

He wrote the “Martha’s Vineyard Mysteries” series, which began publication in the year 1989 with the release of “A Beautiful Place to Die”. The final two books in this series were released after died. The series ended after 22 novels, the last of which was released in the year 2008, and was called “ Vineyard Chill”. There are three crossover books that Jeff stars in with a character that William G. Tapply writes about called Brady Coyne.

“A Beautiful Place to Die” is the first novel in the “Martha’s Vineyard Mysteries” series which was released in the year 1989. This series stars Jeff “J. W.” Jackson, who was a veteran in Vietnam and used to be a cop in Boston but has retired to Martha’s Vineyard. He is able to get away from the violence of the, and he enjoys cooking, fishing, and only enjoying life here. A young drifter (who is the son of Jeff’s fishing buddy) has been murdered after a boat explosion. It pulls Jackson back into investigation.

Fans of the novel found that the strongest part of the book is the description of Martha’s Vineyard and the people who live there. It is described vividly and you feel as though you are there with all of the people. Craig has a writing style that is deceptively smooth that hooks readers right into things. The sense of humor that Jeff has is self deprecating and it puts fans into his corner right off the bat.

“The Woman Who Walked into the Sea” is the second novel in the “Martha’s Vineyard Mysteries” series which was released in the year 1991. Marjorie Summerharp (an acerbic professor) was renewed while on Martha’s Vineyard; it sharpened both her mind as well as her acid tongue by both the whispering breezes and the gentle waves the island has on offer. Why is it that she would walk right into the sea on a warm morning in June, only to be swallowed by the ruthless and hungry ocean?

Ex-cop Jeff Jackson is aware that evil is able to flourish in even the most idyllic of settings. The more he digs, the more it appears that the not so accidental of the renowned local scholar of the town was a lot more premeditated than it looked before. Nosing around in this snake pit full of adultery, academic jealousy, and cheap religion might just prove lethal for this cop turned fisherman. More deadly still when Jackson is able to expose way too many evil secrets that someone finds to be worth killing for.

Fans of the novel enjoy reading about the realistic romance between Zee and Jeff; as these two never fail to delight the reader at all. Some like to simply catch up with the interesting characters that the island has to offer. There is tons of fun, a lot of laughs, gossip, and drama to go around and captivate the readers. The books are not violent or heavy but are nice and cozy reads that people enjoy reading about.

“The Double Minded Men” is the third novel in the “Martha’s Vineyard Mysteries” series which was released in the year 1992. A potentate from the Middle East and the entourage he has are coming to Martha’s Vineyard. There is madness in the salt air as a result. Jeff would rather be out with Zee, his girlfriend, fishing, but the island’s short staffed police force needs his assistance to keep the chaos the visitor has created since showing up.

It is made worse by the fact that he is claiming that he is not leaving until he is able to take back, with much ceremony, the emerald necklace that was taken from his country a hundred years ago. Both the necklace and Jeff’s girlfriend go missing, and it turns him from just a rental cop into an investigator that is frantically trying to find Zee. Some desperate men have come to the island, and they have murder in mind. Jackson is close to losing all that he loves dearly.

“Cliff Hanger” is the fourth novel in the “Martha’s Vineyard Mysteries” series which was released in the year 1993. Zee, Jeff’s lady, may just be leaving the peaceful and picturesque town for good. There is the suicide of a young student and a thug that abuses girlfriends is spewing off vicious threats. It is enough to make Jeff think about taking a break from the gorgeous town himself.

Three failed attempts to kill him that end up being the one thing that make him actually leave the island. It puts him onto a stalker’s trail that sends Jeff to the Colorado Rockies’ dangerous and deadly peaks. He soon finds that at the end of the day, it is tough to beat his nice home in the Vineyard.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Philip R. Craig

One Response to “Philip R. Craig”

  1. Jane Carter: 2 years ago

    Philip Craig was my sister in law’s history professor at a New England college. He was her all time favorite teacher!
    His widow lives close to some of our other relatives on the Vineyard.
    He was a very wonderful person.


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