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Dragons and Garden Peas    by Burt Jacoby order for
Dragons and Garden Peas
by Burt Jacoby
Order:  USA  Can
iUniverse, 2008 (2008)
Hardcover, Softcover
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

What more could go so very wrong? Maxwell Green, designer and builder of waterfront homes on questionable sites, is stricken with lung cancer and must undergo radical surgery. His wife has left him. His proposal for building homes on fifteen acres he has bought on Shelter Island, New York, is met with strenuous opposition from the natives.

He is blessed by his wife's coming back to him to try to nurse him through his recovery. When on a sailing trip to a possible reconciliation, she is hit by a boom and swept overboard. He is accused of her murder! Suspense crowds every page as Green's trial for murder approaches. His building plans are inexplicably delayed although he has the planning board's approval. His new girlfriend, on whom he pins his hopes for a future, turns her back on him.

Author Burt Jacoby writes of Max's lung cancer from his own experience with the dread disease. Max is an engaging personality. He is driven by his own dreams of building the innovative homes he designs, as well as designing his own life. He's capable of great love, and nothing stands in the way of achieving what he wants - even if he loses the new love in his life.

The sailing sequence in Dragons and Garden Peas should satisfy any armchair sailor and the location of Shelter Island please those of us who don't have a view of the ocean in our own front yards. The conclusion of this standalone book will at first shock. Then, after thinking about it, the reader asks what other way could it go, knowing Max's personality?

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