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The Jekyl Island Club Paperback – June 5, 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; 1st edition (June 5, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312276982
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312276980
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #829,229 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

From its incorporation in 1886 to the early years of World War II, Georgia's Jekyl Island played host to the Jekyl Island Club, where members controlled an obscene portion of the world's wealth and the fortunes and fates of men and nations were routinely won and lost. Brent Monahan, who is more commonly associated with vampires (1993's The Book of Common Dread and 1995's The Blood of the Covenant) and spirits (1997's The Bell Witch: An American Haunting), uses it as the site of an 1899 crime. Monahan pits Sheriff John Le Brun against none other than J.P. Morgan, as the former attempts to solve the murder of a club member and the latter attempts to dismiss the crime, for personal reasons, as the work of a local poacher. That Morgan is a man of enormous influence is obvious. That Le Brun is a man with powers of his own is demonstrated when a chess match he's playing is interrupted by an errant bustle and a rematch is logically proposed.

"No need," Le Brun said, groaning softly as he bent low from his chair to retrieve fallen pieces. "It was pawn to king four, pawn to king four." He began placing the chessmen on the board. "Knight to king's bishop three, knight to queen's bishop three. Bishop to knight five, pawn to queen's rook three. Bishop to rook four, knight to bishop three. Knight to bishop three, pawn to queen three. Then pawn to queen four and pawn to queen's knight four. Your move."

As it becomes abundantly clear that Le Brun is as far from being a rube in sheriff's clothing as Jay Gould is from standing in a soup line, Morgan parries and Le Brun thrusts amidst a shifting stream of adversaries and allies. These include newspaper tycoon Joseph Pulitzer, Judge Iley Tidewell and his son, Le Brun's chief deputy Warfield Tidewell, assorted robber barons and titans of industry, and any number of duplicitous, nefarious, and dangerously armed factota. In the end, Monahan has crafted in The Jekyl Island Club a well-plotted and richly peopled period whodunit that rises, with an almost imperceptible pitch, to a place where lovers of mystery long to travel but rarely seem to go. --Michael Hudson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

A swank Southern resort for the nation's elite at the turn of the last century forms the evocative backdrop for this first mystery by horror writer Monahan (The Book of Common Dread). Prominent names like Morgan, Vanderbilt, Gould and Pulitzer gather on Jekyl Island off the coast of Georgia to be pampered in opulent seclusion. When one of the club members, Erastus Springer, is shot dead in an apparent hunting accident, the powerful close ranks. The timing of this and a subsequent stabbing death is unfortunate, as President McKinley is due to visit the island to debate the country's plans to acquire colonies. The local cop with the hard job of solving the crimes and soothing the monster egos is Sheriff John Le Brun. Possessed of a sharp mind, Le Brun isn't the bumpkin the wealthy take him for. He never really attempts to smooth the moneyed feathers. In fact, he has his own personal (and financial) reasons for stirring things up. Monahan has a deft touch with the foibles of the period; he works hard at capturing the voices of the resort's black servants, and carefully details the mechanics of practicing medicine in 1899. Instead of providing a plethora of suspects, however, he chooses to develop the personalities of the real-life tycoonsAwhich are interesting but not plot sustaining. The mixed result is a mystery rich in social history, but poor in narrative drive. (June)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Well written, interesting characters.
Oznayim
It is very refreshing to find an author that is skilled AND confident enough to build strong characters without dipping into the same well.
Dang Lad
It starts out a little slow (some very long chapters) but soon you are hooked.
Cherry Stoddard

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By John W. Bates on August 6, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Many Georgians and many tourists enjoy the recreation and relaxation of Jekyll Island, one of the jewels of Georgia's "Golden Isles." One of the attractions for visitors to the Island is staying at, or visiting, the restored hotel, The Jekyll Island Club, and touring the "cottages" built by the millionaires who originally developed the island more than one hundred years ago. In The Jekyl Island Club, Brent Monahan takes us back to the time when J. P. Morgan, Joseph Pulitzer, and other tycoons and robber barons vacationed in splendor, and ran their little island as part of their fiefdoms. When one of the guests on the island is found dead from a gunshot, however, they have to acknowledge the local authority, at least enough to have the Brunswick sheriff make official their idea of what happened. Enter John Le Brun, high sheriff of Brunswick and a person with good reason to hold a grudge against the captains of industry who occupy what was formerly his home. Le Brun has his own problems, including a brand new chief deputy who recently returned home is disgrace from Philadelphia and is the son of the local judge. The judge is not a fan of the sheriff's, and is totally in the pocket of the Jekyl Island Club membership. In launching his investigation Le Brun must face the disdain, if not enmity, of club members and some of their staff; concerns about the loyalty of his own deputy; his own feelings; and his sense of justice. The pressure is on, in part because President McKinley is soon to visit the Island, traveling over from Thomasville where he is vacationing at the vacation home of his advisor, Ohio Senator Hanna, to meet with the some of the millionaires and House Speaker Reed, a guest of Morgan's.Read more ›
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By John Tilelli MD on April 16, 2004
Format: Paperback
I am not a Southern native, but I have had the great pleasure of a weekend at the Jekyll Island Club. There, over oysters and champagne you can can easily imagine a long forgotten patrician America, who spent their weekends "roughing it" in unmatched splendor. One can still have brunch there, served by starched, tuxedo-clad waiters, after whcih play croquet on the lawn or golf on a pretty good course once the property of the Goodyears and the Morgans.
This is the wonderful setting for a period mystery by experienced author Brent Moynahan, who deftly crafts a tale of murder, revenge, avarice and envy set in a prestigious capitalist resort. One of the members, limited by invitation only to the 100 richest men in the US, Erastus Springer, has been found dead, apparantly shot during his morning constitutional. John LeBrun, Brunswick sherriff has been called almost as an afterthought to solve the case, presumably with the least fuss possible to the powerful members. LeBrun, who is above corruption, is thwarted by the members, especially J.P. Morgan and Joseph Pulizer, arch captialist and arch populist rivals in everything except their rabid dedication to the Club.
If flawed, this novel is not the nail-biting suspenseful mystery that leads us along with crumbs of evidence to the great "aha" at the end. It does though admirably succeed in its characterization of the people, especially of the very rich and vary poor, who made fin-de-siecle America, and lived bathed in the resntments and ignorance of the War of Northern Agression. It beautifully paints Georgia of the era and tells a story as much tension and grit as charm and wit. By the satisfying end we care less about the plot reaching its logical conclusion as we do seeing a good man prevail. Heartily recommeended, and and admirable Summer read, especially if you are poolside at one of the Barrier Island resorts.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By K. P QUINN on November 20, 2003
Format: Paperback
The Jekyl Island Club was my first exposure to Monahan and probably not my last. Monahan's book, set in the late 18oo's pits a crafty, columbo-like cop against an overconfident crew of money men to solve a murder on Jekyl Island. This is a page-turning "historical murder mystery" you shouldn't miss.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Maberry on June 11, 2006
Format: Paperback
The Jeyll Island Club by Brent Monahan was a geat read. Moody, mysterious, filled with fascinating historical detail, and introducing a new hero in retired sheriff John Le Brun. The book has all everything you need to spend an evening in a comfortable chair with your mind wandering into the strange past of Jekyll Island. Definitely a thinking-man's thriller.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 2, 2004
Format: Paperback
I have visited Jekyll all my life and worked there for six summers. Before the clubhouse was renovated, we used to swim in the pool. Even with all this exposure to the historic district, I can't wait to go back and revisit the homes and enjoy the atmosphere, sights and sounds of the historic district - all the imagery found in this novel. The book does indeed make you wonder if in fact the author knows of things kept hidden from the public by the secretive elite members of the Jekyll Island Club.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Cherry Stoddard on July 30, 2000
Format: Hardcover
It starts out a little slow (some very long chapters) but soon you are hooked. The fascination of moguls of that time and their impact on our history. Well written. You wish there were other books about Sheriff John Le Brun and his crime solving abilities.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Robert Bell on August 2, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have bought at least a dozen copies of this book as gifts for friends over the last year. Amazon does gift wrap! After visiting Jekyll Island (with two "L"'s now) for 20 years, I finally bought a home there - and love it! This book will pique your interest in this picturesque and unusual island and provide you with a great historical background - and entertain at the same time.

Once you've read the book, book your vacation there. You can stay in J.P. Morgan's apartment and sit on the veranda of the club and enjoy the atmosphere and ambiance that entranced a generation of millionaires a century ago. It's all still there, and this book really brings it all to life.

The book rips right along, but the ending is a bit flat. But given the corner the author has written himself into, it is forgivable. All in all, a good read.
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