The Dead Cat Bounce Offers Enjoyable Summer Fare

By Charles W. Lightner, Friend of Porter Memorial Library


Let’s begin this summer with an award-winning, well-received local Eastport writer, whose first works center around her new home – Eastport! Now if you’ve not been acquainted with her work, she recently finished her long-running, sixteen novel series, “Home Repair is Homicide,” which begins with the book, “Dead Cat” and ends in 2013 with “A Bat in the Belfry.” But don’t grieve, Sarah begins again in 2015 with a new featured character, Lizzie Snow, ex-homicide detective out of Boston who also moved to “Maine in Winter at the Door.” But first, let’s get you started on the original work, which is a dead cat bounce, a Wall Street term for a brief stock rise just after a serious drop. You know, we’ve all been there!

Right off the bat we’re exposed to this handy rebuilder of a woman who’s in the process of resurrecting her newly purchased old Maine home in Eastport. (I personally know this drill so well!) Her name is Jacobia Tiptree, ex-wife of a brain surgeon, ex-money trader from away – New York. Jake, as she’s called, makes an interesting discovery in her new/old home. “Coming upon a body is an experience, like childbirth or a head-on collision, that takes the breath out of a person. I went back through the passageway between the kitchen and the small, unheated room where in spring I kept dog food and dahlia bulbs, and where apparently I now stored corpses.” She shares her mortifying news with her good friend, Ellie White.  The corpse, with an inappropriate head extension, appears to be “one of the fifty wealthiest men in the world, a corporate raider so aggressive that it was said, only jokingly, that his limousines ought to fly the Jolly Roger.” As she presses Eastport folks to find her corpse’s killer, Jake discovers what newbies learn, “For while I was accepted pleasantly enough when I came here, and everyone was friendly and helpful in the extreme, the undeniable fact was that I was from away, and could not ever be expected to understand some things.” True, Jake was from elsewhere, but even people from away honor their friends. So Jake ruminates, “… there was still a great deal I didn’t know about Eastport, and even about Ellie. …If she was confessing to keep the truth from coming out – or, God forbid, because she really had killed McIlwaine – why ask me to figure it out?’


Here you’ll find a mystery, yes, but also the mention of many of the places and parts that make up this Down East we all love and enjoy, even a mention or two of Machias! Happy reading all!