I read this book about 9-May-2016. This is the first time I've read this book. The book is copyright 1997. This note was last modified Tuesday, 14-Jun-2016 09:41:28 PDT.
This is book 3 of the "Stone Barrington" series.
This note contains spoilers for the book.
All set for a romantic sailing vacation with Arrington, but her flight is delayed by a huge snowstorm and she catches a major interview opportunity—the major actor she was with when she first met Stone.
He's not, at least, bored; he gets himself involved in a very strange murder trial in St. Marks. A woman has brought a yacht in single-handed, after her husband dieing of a heart attack at sea. But the Minister of Justice is going to prosecute her for murder anyway.
Just about everybody is holding out on Stone, some on multiple topics. By the end of the book he's mostly figured it out, though.
It's all an insurance fraud; Allison and Paul Manning conspire to fake his death, including his growing a beard and losing a lot of weight so he can not be recognized. In fact he turns up as a reporter to watch the trial. It wasn't part of their plan for her to be accused or tried; but he's decided to let her take the fall and keep all the money for himself (they had a $12 million insurance policy on him, had for some years, in addition the house, yacht, investments, and of course copyrights).
Stone and a local barrister put on a good defense, the prosecution has no actual evidence, and the jury decides unanimously that she's guilty (a majority verdict is enough even in a capital case there, but the jury decides unanimously anyway).
She and the barrister manage to bribe the Prime Minister (to whom the conviction is appealed), and she's spirited away. Also she's moved the money to yet more obscure off-shore accounts, so she basically disappears. Paul had done research on false identities for his book and to use in the fraud, and she knows it all. Paul can't find her, the defrauded insurance company can't find her, and Stone can't find her either. She does give Stone the yacht, for his fee. He can't afford to maintain it, so he sells it right awy, for nearly $2 million.
Oh, and of course Allison and Stone are sleeping together. I think that may actually be what starts him being suspicious a little. For a while he thinks she really did kill Paul, when he notes a spear-gun put away wrong and a spear missing.