Fiction Set in Maine

The books listed here are set completely or partially in real or imaginary places in the state of Maine. They're in alphabetical order by author, with links to author entries on the Maine Writers Index at the Maine State Library, if applicable (not all books set in Maine are written by Maine authors). To suggest a book for the list, please contact me.

Many thanks to Dennis Lien and Allen J. Hubin for help. Special thanks to Bill Bauer for access to his well-annotated finding list of books with Maine settings; this list would be much smaller without his help.


INGRAHAM, Joseph Holt


JACOB, Suzanne

JANIS, Christine M.

JENSEN, Muriel

JEWETT, Sarah Orne

JOHNSON, Helen Kendrick




JONES, Linda





KENNEDY, Douglas


KENVIN, Roger Lee


KIDD, Flora

KIMBALL, Michael

KIMBALL, Stephen


KING, Lily

KING, Stephen

KING, Tabitha

KINGSLEY, Allison(aka Kate Kingsbury and Rebecca Kent)

KLINE, Christina Baker


  • The Boy Came Back (1952): Story of what happened in a small Maine town when the town's bad boy comes back after an absence of ten years. The townspeople worried about what the boy would do to Rockport Falls, but it was what Rockport Falls did to the boy that led to violence.
  • Juniper Island (1958): The loves, the hates, the alliances and misalliances that develop among the native fishermen and the summer millionaires on a Maine coast island.
  • Summer Doctor (1963): Doctor tells his story of how he and his dog, Slob, live on remote Juniper island off the coast of Maine 10 weeks of the year.

KNIGHT, Phyllis

  • Switching the Odds (1992): Mystery, featuring lesbian private investigator Lil Ritchie. Set in Portland, Maine.
  • Shattered Rhythms (1994): Lil Ritchie investigates the disappearance of a jazz guitarist. Set in Portland, Maine.

KNOWLES, Ardeana H.

  • Pink Chimneys: A Novel of 19th Century Maine (1987): Engaging story of three women on the Maine frontier: Maude Richmond Webber, a midwife whose tradition is being threatened by physicians; redheaded Fanny Hogan, who becomes mistress of a Bangor bordello; and Elizabeth Emerson, Fanny's illegitimate daughter who learns her identity through tragic circumstances. The story begins with the British Occupation of 1814 and is set against the backdrop of temperance crusades, emerging statehood, and the explosive economic and political importance of Bangor, Maine.


  • The Bear Went Over the Mountain (1996): In rural Maine, a bear finds a manuscript, borrows clothes and food from a local store, and goes to the big city to seek fame and fortune as a novelist. Kotzwinkle throws barbs at the publishing business, Wall Street, academics, and back-to-nature women in this satire/fantasy.

KUBITZ, Frances R.

  • Damariscove Island (1997): Mystery set on an island near Damariscotta. A wealthy and well-known artist settles on family land on Damariscove to find a new life after a mysterious boat explosion kills his wife and best friends.
  • The Hypocrites (2000): A story about an FBI agent working undercover in Boothbay Harbor on a case of smuggled gems. Set around the two rocky isles east of Fisherman's Island.
  • The Cuckolds (2001): The body of a young woman, decorated with shells, is found on a Florida beach and clues lead investigators to Maine.



  • Season of valor (1996): Christian historical fiction. Battles of Destiny series, #6. As teenagers, Shane and Ashley promise to love each other forever. But when Ashley's parents return to Ireland and take their daughter with them, the sweethearts sadly bid each other farewell. Both find other loves and marry. When Ashley eventually returns to Maine, the friendship between the two is rekindled. But even as old friends reunite, the seeds of tragedy grow in their lives, in the forms of illness and war. Can love overcome sorrow?


  • The Pink Room (2005): A grieving writer moves into an abandoned home in northern Maine where a top physicist had been conducting and experiment to bring his dead daughter back to live. Author lives in Lewiston.

LAING, Alexander

  • The Cadaver of Gideon Wyck (1934): Gothic horror novel set in Maine. Grim novel of insane experiments, murder, blood drinkers, and hexes.


  • Dunston Falls (2008): Mystery. An ice storm paralyzes a small Maine town and Sheriff David Peck is faced with a series of murders.

LANDAY, William

  • Mission Flats (2003): Mystery. Ben Truman is police chief of tiny Versailles, Maine. The action takes place after Ben discovers the bloated body of a Boston Asst. District Attorney in a deserted cabin out by the lake. The book is set in both fictitious Versailles, and in fictitious Mission Flats, a run-down drug-infested area near Boston.


  • The Raven (1995): Won the 1996 American Association of Arts and Letters Best First Fiction Award. The book is fictional, but based on an actual event involving a coastal Maine pleasure cruise that went horribly awry. Setting out from Bailey Island in June 1941, a top-heavy tour boat was packed with thirty-six picnickers from Rumford, Maine. The boat disappeared into a thick fog and was never seen again. The only clues it left behind were the bodies of a dozen female passengers and the male captain, pulled from Casco Bay several days later.

LANDON, Herman

  • Gray Magic (1922): A Gray Phantom mystery set in Maine.
  • The Owl's Warning (1932): Pulp mystery novel set in Maine.

LANDRY, Horace P.

  • Death Under Tall Pines: A Maine Mystery (1998): Did a falling tree or a bullet kill a vacationer on a fishing trip in the Maine wilderness? A classic whodunit.
  • Death on the Rocks (2002): Murder mystery set in the Moosehead Lake region, 1949. A frozen body is found in a hunting lodge and a victim vanishes without leaving any footprints in the snow. Retired priest Father Timothy O'Toole helps investigate.


  • The Missing (2007): A plague threatens the affluent fictional community of Corpus Christi, Maine.


  • Mainely Lesbians (2003): Novel. Meeting in a gay bar in Boston, a group of lesbians form bonds and develop mutual interests that lead them to Maine.

LAWRENCE, Margaret

  • Hearts and Bones (1996): In the midst of a pitiless winter in Rufford, Maine - a town deeply scarred by America's recent, bloody war of revolution - a young wife and mother has been raped and murdered in her own home. The savage crime draws midwife Hannah Trevor into an investigation that could destroy everything and everyone she loves. Nominated for the Edgar and Agatha Awards for Best Mystery Novel
  • Blood Red Roses: A Novel of Historical Suspense (1997): A tale set in Maine, 1786. A sequence of terrible murders rocks the town of Rufford as the widowed midwife Hannah fights to keep her 8-year-old daughter.
  • The Burning Bride (1998): In 1786, the townsfolk of Rufford, Maine are having their annual military celebration, which is interrupted by the death of the town's so-called surgeon, who is found with a bullet to his head and chest, and his feet burned.

LEA, Sydney

  • A Place in Mind (1989): Setting is Grand Lake Stream in Maine's Washington County, cleverly disguised as the fictitious town of McLean. The novel concerns fly-fishing, hunting, and the unlikely friendship between professor Brant Healey and Louis, an unlettered, superstitious woodsman. Vermont author.

LECLAIR, Jennifer

  • Rigged for Murder (2008): Mystery. Brie Beaumont has taken a leave from the Minnesota Police Department. Suffering from post-traumatic stress after her partner is killed, she has gone to Maine, a place that holds fond memories from her childhood. She ships out on the Maine Wind for an early season cruise with Captain John DuLac and eight others. Caught in a gale, they anchor off remote and windswept Granite Island. When someone aboard is murdered, Brie must single-handedly stage an investigation that moves from the ship to a small fishing village on the island.

LEE, Sharon

  • Carousel Tides (2010): Fantasy. The fictional tourist town of Archers Beach in Maine hosts a war of faerie magic in this engaging fantasy.


  • The Mystery of Bar Harbor: A Melo-Dramatic Romance of France and Mt. Desert (1887)

LEONARD, Constance

  • Aground (1984): Tracy James mystery series. Tracy James leaves her contented life in Florida to become involved in a mind-controlling cult in Maine and to learn why an old family friend's lobster business is being sabotaged. Could also be suitable for young adults. 172 pp.

LETHEM, Jonathan

  • Motherless Brooklyn (1999): Detective story, set primarily in New York City, but the denouement takes place in Maine, complete with fishermen, urchin divers and Down East accents. Features Lionel Essrog, a detective with Tourette's syndrome, who tracks down the killer of his boss, Frank Minna. Won a National Book Critics Circle Award.

LIBBY, Michelle

  • Dog Days of Summer (2005): A young woman from Connecticut finds her first teaching job in Franklin, Maine, and also finds romance with the school's head custodian, who has fled to Maine following a career crisis.


  • The SEDI Defense (2005): When Abigail Pugh is charged with murder after a Mount Desert camp fire, she insists that young attorney Danny Hardy handle her case.


  • Magic for Murder: A Story of Violence and Suspense on an Island off the Coast of Maine (1936): Occult mystery thriller.

LOUD, Ethel Godfrey

  • Turn the Clock Backward (1951): Short stories about Eastern Maine.

LOVE, Kathy

  • Wanting Something More (2005): Supermodel Marty intends to expose the Millbrook (ME) Chief of Police as the leering, conniving womanizer she remembers from high school.

LUDLUM, Robert

  • The Bourne Ultimatum (1990): At a small-time carnival on the outskirts of Baltimore, two men, each mysteriously summoned by telegram, witness a bizarre killing. The telegrams are signed Jason Bourne, but are actually sent by Carlos, the Jackal. What these two men share is the closely guarded secret of Jason Bourne's true identity; Bourne is really David Webb, professor of Oriental studies, husband and father of two children, now nearing his fiftieth birthday and living on a remote campus in Maine.


  • Dud Dean Yarns (1934)
  • The Sun Stood Still, and Other Dud Dean Stories (1939)
  • Dud Dean and His Country (1946): Hunting and fishing stories of the Maine woods, featuring one of the all-time great characters of sporting literature, the fictional Dud Dean.
  • Under a Willow Tree (1946): Dud Dean stories about angling, hunting and camping in the wilds of Maine.
  • Where Flows the Kennebec, More Tales About Dud Dean (1947): Collection of anecdotes by popular mid-century Maine chronicler.


    Gray Whale Inn culinary/cozy mystery series
  • Murder on the Rocks (2006): Natalie's career start as an innkeeper on Cranberry Island, Maine, coincides with developer Bernard Katz's plans to build a big golf course on an endangered tern colony next door (with her inn as its parking lot). Of course when Katz is found dead at the base of a cliff, the police turn their attention to someone who had a lot to lose if Katz's plans were to come to fruition -- Natalie.
  • Dead and Berried (2007): Heading out to pick cranberries one autumn morning, Natalie stumbles across the body of her part-time helper with a gunshot wound to the chest. To complicate things, he ex-fiance comes to town, significantly cooling her budding relationship with the handsome guy next door.
  • Murder Most Maine (2008): Natalie Barnes is hosting a weight loss retreat at her Gray Whale Inn on Maine's Cranberry Island when the body of trainer Dirk De Leon turns up near Cranberry Point Lighthouse.

MACLEOD, Charlotte

  • Vane Pursuit (1989): A Peter Shandy mystery. A dastardly gang of rogues is sneaking around Balaclava county (Mass.), snatching priceless antique Praxiteles Lumpkin weathervanes. Helen Shandy, a librarian, travels to Sasquamahoc, Maine, to protect another priceless vane, and while there goes on a whale watching tour, which is hijacked by the vane snatchers.
  • The Gladstone Bag (1989): A Sarah Kelling and Max Bittersohn mystery. Setting is an isolated summer place on Pocapuk Island, Maine.
  • Something in the Water (1994): Professor Peter Shandy, New England's homegrown Hercule Poirot, has journeyed to the Maine coast in search of a mystery flower-and to escape his wife's all female house party. Now, supping at a country inn, he witnesses sudden death as a town bully keels over into his chicken pot pie. Is it fowl play?
  • Exit the Milkman (1997): The Shandys house guest, on her way home to Maine from Balaclava, discovers the Shandys' missing neighbour in a wrecked Lincoln Town Car.


  • The Color of Hope (2000): The Connelly family is in trouble. Ruth is a Boston lawyer in a high-powered job. Her husband Paul, a professor, is beginning to drink too much. Both have been unfaithful. Their daughter, Josie, is going through a hostile and difficult adolescence. Then Josie drowns in a boating accident while they're on vacation, and the family falls apart even further. But when their son (and only surviving child) contracts cancer, Ruth and Paul are drawn back together -- only to be tested one more time by another crisis. Partially set in Maine.

MAIN, William J.

  • Masters of Midnight (2003): Comprised of four novellas -- set in Maine, Arkansas, San Francisco, and West Virginia -- in which vampires play a prominent and erotically gay role. The Maine novella: 'Thirty years ago in Cravensport, Maine murders and disappearances occurred with no explanation. Jeremy thinks the story will make a good human-interest piece, but he also has a personal stake in the story as one of the vanished was his father' [from Harriet Klausner review].


  • Maine Speaks: An Anthology of Maine Literature (1996): A collection of classic and contemporary fiction, nonfiction and poetry, by Maine writers.


  • Above the Thunder (2003): About a middle-aged widow, her otherworldly ten-year-old granddaughter, and a gay couple confronting their demons, whose lives intertwine on the coast of Maine

MANNS, Robert

  • The Maine Quartet and other one-act plays. Volume Two. (2002): The woods of Aroostook County, Piscataquis County, and Lake Megunticook provide the settings for the plays and monologues in this volume.

MARKS, Jason

  • Chiaroscuro (1985): Set in the late 1960s, a story about a 14-year-old boy living on an island off the coast of Maine with his parents and his struggles to enter adulthood.


  • Surreal Estate (2001): Darkly comic suspense thriller. Dewey and his pregnant wife, Judith, are spending a relaxing summer on small, unpopulated Cranberry Island in Maine. The many strange and surreal events unfolding about their isolated cottage keep turning ever more ominous until disaster strikes. Dewey and Judith take turns alternating the reins of narration, as each of them clarifies their side of what went so terribly wrong.


  • American Captain (1954) : The blazing adventures of an American sailor from Maine to the slave pens of Tripoli, from the sheepskin bed of a Tuareg princess to the gaming rooms of London.

MARTIN, Sally F.

  • Shape of Dark (2002): Mystery/thriller set in fictional Maine town of Mariana.

MARTIN, Sarah Beth (pseud. of Sarah Lepine)

  • The One True Ocean (2003) : While seeking solace from her grief, a young widow returns to her childhood home in Maine. What begins as an escape into her aunt's mysterious past becomes an exploration of her own identity and guilt. Set in the fictional town of Cape Wood, featuring the Southern Maine coast as a lush but haunting backdrop.

MARTYN, Wyndham

  • Murder Island (1928): Mystery. Set in Maine?

MASON, F. Van Wyck

  • Blue Hurricane (1954): Fiction set in Penobscot County, Maine, 1861-1862.


  • Hell House (1971): Scary ghost story. A rich, dying old man desiring to find out the truth about life after death, hires three people -- a scientist and two mediums -- and giving them 7 days, sends them to stay at Belasco House in Maine, a known haunted house, in an effort to answer his question. Filmed as Legend of Hell House in 1973 with a screenplay by Matheson.

MATIN, Sally

  • Shape of Dark (2003): A mystery about a young woman and her two daughters, set on the coast of Maine

MATTHEWS, A.J. (AKA Rick Hautala)

  • The White Room (2001): Horror set in Hilton, Maine. Polly Harris is a mentally fragile woman. In the middle of a hospital emergency room, Polly locks eyes with her 10-year-old neighbor Heather just before Heather dies of her traumatic wounds; Polly understands that Heather is somehow now within her. Meanwhile, Tim Harris, Polly's husband, is ready to spend the summer in Maine with Polly and their son Brian, working on the old family house. But their summer is not tranquil. Polly continually hears Heather's voice, warning her of some terrible danger. She glimpses shadows of people in empty rooms and faces pressed briefly against windows. Slowly things fall into place and Polly realizes that not only is she haunted but so is the old Harris house. The danger Heather warns her of is real and present. 368 pp.

MATTESON, Stefanie

    These two books are part of a cozy series, with varied locales, including Rhode Island, Palm Beach, FL, and New York.
  • Murder at Teatime (1991): What better antidote to the pressures of Broadway than a vacation on an elegant island off the Maine coast? That's what Charlotte Graham thinks until her seaside getaway lands her knee-deep in local intrigue. A fanatical book collector, a witch specializing in herbal remedies, and a crusty old lobster fisherman are at odds over land, love, and money. And when someone spikes a cup of tea with poison, Charlotte may end up in a lethal brew.
  • Murder on High (1994): Charlotte Graham may be seventy-one, but she's a fit and feisty Yankee with a talent for sleuthing. From the cliffs of Maine's highest mountain, Mount Katahdin, to the world of Hollywood, this complex mystery is rich with natural and historical detail. Eccentric characters on both coasts enliven Charlotte's search for the truth.

MAYO, Eleanor R.

  • Turn Home (1945): Returned veteran stands on his own merits in a Maine village.
  • October Fire (1951): Maine village half destroyed by forest fire.
  • Swan's Harbor: A Maine Coast Novel (1953): Twin brothers, Art and Steve Swan, are alike in looks but not in character. Art is steady, the backbone of the thriving lobster and fish packing business their father has left; Steve is handsome, a bachelor, with a string of ladies. The novel tells of one summer in their lives when the hidebound Maine twins patch up their difficulties.

MAYOR, Archer

  • The Price of Malice: A Joe Gunther Novel (2009): Generally this series is set in Vermont, and this one is in part, in Brattleboro, where a suspected child predator was murdered. Meanwhile, Gunther has learned that his girlfriend Lyn's fisherman father and brother, believed lost at sea off the coast of Maine, might have actually been murdered. Acting on her suspicions, Lyn returns to Maine to try and investigate Gunther’s findings, and Gunther periodically puts his on-going murder investigation on hold to accompany her.


  • Waterbaby (2007): Tam moves to Southport Island and struggles to understand her life through her family history.


  • Cosa Nostra aka The Hit (1971): The Mafia came with money and guns to Chapmans Corners, and only one man even thought of stopping them. Greeley, the cynical hard drinking crooked cop, had done some dirty things in his life, but there were limits -- well, maybe. Set New England (Maine?).


  • Horn of Plenty (2006): 'A warm story with a happy ending.' A boy's coming of age story, set on the Maine coast and in Memphis, TN.
  • Sebago Retreat (2007): Story takes placed on Sebago Lake in southern Maine. 'The failure to recognize reality from illusion sends a Vietnam vet over the brink of insanity.'

MCFAUL, Alexander D.

  • Ike Glidden in Maine: A Story of Rural Life in a Yankee District (1902): Illustrated country life novel. 297 pp.


  • Lavinia's Shoes (2007): Historical fiction. A young girl from Andros, Maine, is the sole survivor of the Lavinia after the ship burns off the southern coast of Africa in 1860.

MCLANE, Charles B.

  • Red Right Returning (2004): Set on a Penobscot Bay island, novel follows the lives of a dozen islanders and their families through tragedy, change, and triumph. Although the story begins just after World War II, it explores timeless island themes: the subtle tensions (and attractions) between islanders and summer people, the special dynamics of island life, the inevitable competition for lobsters, and how an island community adjusts to change.

MCLAUGHLIN, Robert William

  • Caleb Matthews; An Idyl of the Maine Coast (1913): Story of a Maine lobsterman. 83 pp.

MCNAIR, Wesley (editor)

  • The Quotable Moose: A Contemporary Maine Reader (1994): Gathering of short fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry focusing on the old Maine and the new.

MEDWED, Mameve

  • Mail (1998): Set in Cambridge, Mass., and in Old Town, Maine. The heroine, Katinka O'Toole, is from Old Town, and there are many scenes set in Old Town in the novel.

MEIER, Leslie

  • Mail-Order Murder: A Christmas Mystery (1991): First of the Lucy Stone Mystery Series, all of which take place in the village of Tinker's Cove, Maine
  • Tippy-Toe Murder (1994): A pregnant Lucy is on the trail of Caroline Hutton, a retired dance teacher who has mysteriously disappeared, when the irascible local hardware merchant, Morrill Slack, takes a deathblow to the head with a video camera, and Franny Small, the hapless salesgirl with the perfect motive, has no alibi for how she spent the afternoon of the murder.
  • Trick or Treat Murder (1996): The serenity of Tinker's Cove, Maine, is shattered when an arsonist creates havoc and sends amateur sleuth and mother of four Lucy Stone investigating. After several historic buildings are damaged or destroyed by fire, the stakes escalate when the body of socialite Monica Mayes is found inside the charred wreckage of her summer home.
  • Back to School Murder (1997): A bomb goes off with the noon lunch bell at the local elementary school, but not before all the kids are safely evacuated and the new assistant principal, is hailed as a hero. By the time the smoke clears, the fallout has resulted in murder. Everyone is stunned when the most popular teacher at school is arrested for the crime. But not everyone is buying the open-and-shut case, including Lucy Stone.
  • Mistletoe Murder (1998): As if baking holiday cookies, knitting a sweater for her husband's gift, and making her daughter's angel costume for the church pageant weren't enough, Lucy is also working nights at the famous mail-order company Country Cousins. But when she discovers Sam Miller, its very wealthy founder, dead in his car from an apparent suicide, the sleuth in her knows something just doesn't smell right.
  • Christmas Cookie Murder (1999): Before Lucy Stone can befriend Tinker's Cove's newest female resident, Tucker Whitney, an assistant at the daycare center, Tucker is found strangled to death. Everyone in town knows that Tucker was having an affair with Steve Cummings, who was separated from his wife, but when Steve is arrested for murder, even his wife strongly feels her spouse is incapable of performing the act. Lucy begins to snoop.
  • Valentine Murder (1999)
  • Turkey Day Murder (2000): As Lucy prepares for the Thanksgiving festivities she must investigate the murder of an Native American activist.
  • Wedding Day Murder (2001): Lucy is helping her best friend plan a wedding reception. When the groom's body is found floating in the nearby sea, a victim of murder, almost everyone within in town has a motive.
  • Birthday Party Murder (2002): While trying to organize two birthday parties, Lucy Stone investigates the apparent suicide of attorney Sherman Cobb.
  • Star Spangled Murder (2004): The focus is on small town politics: a dog accused of killing chickens, lobster poaching, nudists swimming at the local watering hole.
  • Bake Sale Murder (2006): Hometown football and cheerleading, local developers, and bake sales are all part of this latest in the Lucy Stone series, set in Tinker's Cove, Maine.
  • St. Patrick's Day Murder (2008): Lucy finds the beheaded body of Dan Malone, owner of the Tinker's Cove (ME) grungy dive bar, in the town's icy harbor.

MELANSON, Susan Chapman

  • Wentworth-by-the-Sea, 1969 (2000): Novel about life in the main dining room of one of the last of the grand resort hotels, told from the perspective of a waitress working her way through college. Author lives in South Hiram.


  • Inside Vacationland: New Fiction from the Real Maine (1985): Short stories by Carolyn Chute, Willis Johnson, Fred Bonnie, Dan Domench, Sanford Phippen, Rebecca Cummings, S.T. Colby, Stephen Petroff, Lucy Honig, and others.


  • Peyton Place (1956): Secrets, murder, incest, and adultery in a small New England town. Camden, Maine, was the setting for the movie.
  • Return to Peyton Place (1959)


  • The Crying Child (1971): From the moment she arrived on King's Island, off the coast of Maine, Joanne McMullen knew that her sister's grief over losing her child had driven her dangerously close to madness. But when Joanne heard the same child's voice that her sister had heard wailing in the woods, she knew something terrible was happening.


  • Beyond Tomorrow (2001, Harlequin): Carly Andrews's predictable life as the manager of a real estate agency was turned upside down the day Adam Noble commissioned her to find his dream house. Takes place Bar Harbor, Maine.

MILES, Cassie

  • Mysterious Vows: Mail Order Bride (1995, Harlequin Intrique): Maria can' remember her real name, where she'd come from or the mysterious, brooding man who claimed she'd agreed to marry him. She awakened with nothing more than a wedding ring -- and directions to Jason Walker's secluded island. Maine?


  • The World Below (2001): Novel set in 1919 Maine and modern-day Vermont. Georgia Rice is diagnosed with tuberculosis and sent away to a sanitarium where she meets the doomed young man who will become her lover. Eighty years later, Georgia's granddaughter Catherine stumbles upon the true story of her grandmother's life and marriage, and of the misunderstanding upon which she built a lasting love.

MINOT, Susan

  • Evening (1998): The story of a woman on her deathbed in Cambridge, Mass., who amidst the delirium and images of her past full life relives a love affair she had forty years earlier, when at twenty-five she attended the wedding of her best friend on an island in Maine.

MONBRUN, Estelle

  • Meurtre a Petite Plaisance (1998; Murder with Little Pleasure): Jean-Pierre Fouchereaux, young French police chief, goes to Maine to inquire after the murder of journalist Adrien Lampereur, who was found dead in the garden of Marguerite Yourcenar.

MOORE, Elizabeth Jordan

  • Cold Times (1992): Follows the fates of two poor rural Maine families whose lives are intertwined, from the 1950s to the 1980s.


  • Official Secrets (1996): A member of the IRA is caught smuggling guns from Belfast, Maine, to Belfast, Ireland, and one of the operatives has planted a bomb at a Maine park, set to go off at noon on the Fourth of July. The two ATF agents involved battle criminal elements as well as red tape, political posturing and corruption within the U.S. and British governments.


  • The Weir: A Novel of the Maine Coast (1943/1986): Novel of two families on a small Maine island.
  • Spoonhandle (1946): Pete Stilwell and his sister Agnes want money and think they can get it by siding with the summer people against their neighbors and their brothers, Willie and Hod, who live on Little Spoon Island and fish for a living.
  • The Fire Balloon (1948): Novel set in Maine in 1947.
  • Candlemas Bay (1950): The story of the Ellis family in a small Maine seacoast town during 1947 and 1948.
  • Speak to the Winds (1956): A novel about the people who live on a small Maine island and make their living from fishing.
  • The Walk Down Main Street (1960) : A novel about a small town in Maine, and the people who lived there in 1960. Very down-home and comfortable.

MORISON, Betty Jane

    A Little Maine Murder series, featuring Elizabeth Lamb Worthington, takes place in Bar Harbor, Maine:
  • Champagne and a Garden (1982)
  • Port and a Star Boarder (1984)
  • Beer and Skittles (1985): Takes place Bar Harbor, Maine, during 4th of July celebration.
  • The Voyage of the Chianti (1987): Locked-room mystery set aboard the luxury yacht Chianti, sailing from Boston to Maine.
  • The Martini Effect (1992): 12-year-old amateur sleuth Elizabeth Lamb Worthington encounters murder at St. Augustine's, a co-ed boarding school on Maine's Mt. Desert Island.
    Non-series novel:
  • Reality and Dream: A Christmas Story (1985): Story of a mother's love, disappointment, disillusion, hope, renewal. Travelling from her Maine home to an uncertain reception at a family Christmas party in Boston, a woman has time to review her life, her few succeses, her many mistakes, & the years she has missed not being part of her estranged daughter's life. Discouraged, almost defeated, she desperately tries one last time to unite the hard realities of middle age with the bright dreams of youth in this moving story of love and rapprochement.


  • The Merry Widow Fox-Trot: And Other Tales of Life in Maine After Sixty (1998): An anthology of 15 short stories that showcases the phenomena of life after 60. All but one of the major characters are between sixty and ninety-five, struggling to understand their aging. The stories take place between the 1930s and the present in fictitious Maine towns and are filled with unforgettable characters. 220 pages

MUIR, Emily

  • Small Potatoes (1940): Warm-hearted novel of life farming and fishing on the Maine coast. Rare.

MUNN, Charles Clark

  • Uncle Terry, a Story of the Maine Coast (1900): Typical period romance adventure concerning a shipwreck.
  • Pocket Island -- A Story Of Country Life In New England (1900): Maine historical novel.
  • Rockhaven (1902): Set on Maine coast.

MURPHY, Dallas

  • Don't Explain: An Artie Deemer Mystery (1996): Mystery. When his celebrity canine, Jellyroll, is targeted by a stalker who is sending macabre and threatening cartoons, Artie Deemer and his girlfriend Crystal take the dog to a remote Maine island, where they are soon joined by a serial killer. Third in this mystery series.


NEBEL, Frederick

  • Fifty Roads to Town (1936): A hardboiled detective novel about strangers, stranded and snowbound in an up-state Maine town during the first blizzard of the winter. Made into a comedy film.

NEELY, Barbara

  • Blanche among the Talented Tenth (1994): House cleaner Blanche White travels to beautiful Amber Cove to spend time with her kids and their friends. Blanche stands out, with her dark black skin and humble profession, and her observations about the color consciousness at this exclusive all-black resort in Maine are sharp. As Blanche finds out the secrets of this insular community, she wonders if a recent death was really an accident.

NEESON, Margaret Graham

  • White Rock Ways (1999): The eight intertwined tales in this book focus on life on a small island off the coast of Maine between 1960 and 1970. The inhabitants range in age from an elderly, thrifty couple to a little boy, and include teenagers, fishermen, law officials, young lovers, housewives and newly arrived summer people. 197 pp.


  • On Fire (1999): Romantic suspense. After a tragic boating accident Emile Labreque disappears leaving his granddaughter, Riley, determined to find him and clear his name of murder. Riley teams up with an old friend of her grandfathers, FBI Special Agent John Straker, to try to save Emile's life. But while working together they discover a passion they find hard to ignore. Set in Maine. 376 p.
  • The Harbor (2003) : Returning home to face the specter of the unsolved murder of her father in her hometown of Goose Harbor, on the coast of Maine, former law enforcement officer Zoe West embroils a vacationing FBI agent in her quest to capture her father's killer. Author lives in Vermont.


  • Wednesday Night Witches (2007): Three young women living on Broome Island, Maine, find their wishes coming true and the island falling apart.


  • Death Down East (1941): Macbeth Archer mystery set in Maine.

NOYES, Alice Daley

  • A Walk With Molly Ockett (1997): Novel of a Pigwacket medicine woman, well known in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, Vermont, and Fryeburg, Maine, areas, where she assisted the sick, and delivered the babies.

OGILVIE, Elisabeth

    Bennett's Island series. All set in a mythical island town on the edge of an outer island on the Penobscot Bay, similar to the island fishing village of Criehaven, where Ogilvie spent childhood summers. Time period: early 1900s-1945.
  • High Tide at Noon (1944): First in the series.
  • Storm Tide (1945): Joanna Bennett defies the elements and tradition as she struggles to preserve the islanders' dream of rebuilding their community and their livelihood.
  • The Ebbing Tide (1947): Third in the series. Joanna's second husband, Nils Sorensen, leaves their Maine coast island for the war. When a new doctor comes to the island, Joanna and he become friends, until she realizes with horror that he reminds her unmistakably of her romantic and loveable first husband and that she is falling for him.
  • An Answer in the Tide (1978): 4th in the series. Follows the fortunes of the third generation of Bennett islanders, focusing on Jamie Sorensen, who has stayed clear of romantic attachments until he moves in with an attractive married newcomer from the mainland.
  • The Dawning of the Day (1954): Romance, suspense fiction set on a remote island off the coast of Maine, involving a young war widow overcoming the prejudice of family rivalries.
  • The Seasons Hereafter (1966): Vanessa Barton moves to Maine's lonely Bennett's Island with her young husband. Romance.
  • Strawberries in the Sea (1973): The story of a young Rosa Fleming, who comes to Bennett's Island to flee memories of a painful divorce and becomes involved in a dramatic fight between the island's lobstermen and a fleet of invading fishermen.
  • The Summer Of The Osprey (1987): A mysterious, wealthy lobsterman comes to Bennett Island to catch lobsters for fun, but island residents become suspicious of his motives.
  • The Day Before Winter (1997): Takes place during Vietnam War period.
    Other Ogilvie books set in Maine include:
  • The Witch Door (1959): Love and suspense on a sleepy summer island off the coast of Maine
  • Rowan Head (1949): The story of Miriam Chase and the tempestuous human relationships she was swept into at Rowan Head on the Maine coast.
  • Call Home the Heart (1962)
  • There May Be Heaven (1964)
  • Bellwood (1969) : Gothic romance set in Maine.
  • Image of a Lover (1974) : Seafair Bell's summer idyll on Drummond's Island, off Maine, begins with songs, swims, and seafood, but before long the golden summer will end in murder and madness.
  • Where the Lost Aprils Are (1975)
  • The Dreaming Swimmer (1976)
  • A Dancer in Yellow (1979)
  • The Road to Nowhere (1983): Set in Maine.
  • When the Music Stopped (1989): Suspense novel, set in the sleepy seaside village of Job's Harbor, Maine. Scandals erupt as an incident that took place many years ago is again brought to life.
  • The World of Jennie G. (1986): Set in Maine in early 1800s. The first in the series (Jennie About to Be) is set in Scotland.
  • Jennie Glenroy (1993): Setting is based on Thomaston, Maine.

O'HARA, Mary

  • The Son of Adam Wyngate (1952): Historical novel of love and betrayal set in Kennebunkport, Maine and Brooklyn Heights, NY, in the early 1900s. Adam Wyngate is a famous preacher, a man of great spiritual stature. Bartholomew, his son, is also a preacher, the pastor of a fashionable church. Bartholomew is attractive to women and his calling exposes him to a good many curious approaches from them.

OLIVER, TEAGAN (aka Beth Oliver)

  • Obsidian (2007): Jamie Rivard returns to the small coastal town of Chandler, Maine, to search for answers about the events leading to his best friend's death. Shelby Teague has already lost her husband to the unforgiving ocean, but when her brother disappears during a diving incident she finds herself turning to Jamie, a stranger with a take-charge attitude.


  • The Miracle Man (1914): Mystery. Head con man Doc Madison has come up with another brilliant scheme, this one seemingly not only easy but foolproof. With the aid of his two underlings, The Flopper and Pale Face Harry, and his girlfriend, Helena, he sets the plan in motion. Madison's inspiration came from a newspaper article he read about a healer called The Patriarch in a small Maine town. As the four descend upon the innocents of the town to pull the scam, they get caught up in the lives of the locals and of The Patriarch. George M. Cohan produced a hit play based on this book.

PAGE, Katherine Hall

    Some of the Faith Fairchild mystery series is set in Maine:
  • The Body in the Kelp (1991): Faith and her family are vacationing on Sanpere island on Maine's Penobscot Bay, along with her friend Pix and her family. A local artist is found floating in the bay and her recently completed quilt seems to hold clues.
  • The Body in the Basement (1995): Faith's next-door neighbor Pix Miller has agreed to check on the progress of the summer cottage Faith and her husband Tom are having built on Maine's Sanpere Island. Pix arrives to find that the new foundation hasn't been cast and that the cement is about to be poured over a lovely red-and-white quilt -- and the unfortunate victim wrapped in it.
  • The Body in the Lighthouse (2003): The Fairchilds leave their Massachusetts home to spend the summer renovating their cottage on Sanpere Island, Maine, where the islanders are up in arms about wealthy folks building toy mansions in their town. When the corpse of developer Harold Hapswell is found jammed between two ledges at the base of the lighthouse, and Faith herself is attacked soon afterwards, she feels compelled to investigate.


  • Strangers on the Beach (2012): Mystery, set in Old Orchard Beach, ME. When billionaire Ferdinand Sevigny's latest stunt -- sailing blindfolded across the Atlantic -- goes horribly awry, he is deposited onto the summer tourist town of Old Orchard Beach, where his sudden arrival triggers a series of sinister events.


  • Tomorrow the Harvest (1952): Historical fiction about two young women in a 1780s Maine coast village and the events that throw their lives together.


  • The Magic Ship: A Novel of Romance in Old Bar Harbor (1977; transl. from German): Novel is based on true story of huge German 4-stack liner Cecile steaming into Frenchman Bay at Bar Harbor, Maine, and the effect she and her crew had on the town during that dreamlike summer at the dawn of WWI. Recreates the life of Bar Harbor's Golden Age.

PARKER, Robert

  • Early Autumn (1981): Spenser Mystery series. A bitter divorce is only the beginning. First the father hires thugs to kidnap his son. Then the mother hires Spencer to get the boy back. With a contract out on his life, he heads for the Maine woods, determined to give a puny 15-year-old a crash course in survival and to beat his dangerous opponents at their own brutal game.
  • Wilderness (1983): Mystery-adventure writer witnesses a brutal murder and sets out to stop a brutal killer in the rugged north woods of Maine.


  • Moontide (2001): Horror. A powerful story of the sea and its ghosts. Melanie Gierek hits bottom after her family dies in a car wreck in Chicago. After the funeral, she drives to Maine, where she'd spent a happy summer on windjammers with her parents. When Melanie takes work on a schooner, the Louisa Lee, a nineteenth-century sailing vessel, she finds she must solve the mystery of the malevolent ship -- and save her own life -- by hunting down the past.

PAYNE, Nancy

  • Phoenix/Maine (2003): Moving swiftly on currents of suspense and romance, this novel by a former state representative looks at how the Maine state legislature works. The sole survivor of a fiery plane crash in the Maine woods is taken in by an elderly couple living on a subsistence farm. He establishes an organization called Phoenix, whose purpose is to make a difference in the lives of ordinary Mainers.

PELLETIER, Cathie (aka K.C. McKinnon)

  • The Funeral Makers (1986): The trials that beset the McKinnons of Mattagash, Maine, when they try to arrange a funeral for the family matriarch.
  • Once upon a Time on the Banks (1989): Boisterous, tacky and opportunistic residents of Mattagash, Maine, prepare for the unlikely wedding of a descendant of their small town's Protestant founder to a Catholic with unacceptable French Canadian origins.
  • The Weight of Winter (1991): 3rd in the Mattagash series.
  • The Bubble Reputation (1993): Following her lover's suicide, Rosemary turns to her family and friends in the small world of Bixley, Maine, where she is coaxed out of her isolation by her gay uncle, her garrulous sister, and an old college roommate.
  • A Marriage Made at Woodstock (1994): Setting is Portland, Maine. Married for more than twenty years, Woodstock sweethearts Chandra and Frederick, find their marriage ending when the earth-conscious Chandra can't accept Frederick's cyberspace career.
  • Beaming Sonny Home (1997): The 4th Mattagash novel. When her beloved son takes two women and a poodle hostage, prompting a media onslaught and worse, Mattie Gifford begins to reflect on her life with humorous and biting insight.
  • Candles on Bay Street (1998, as K.C. McKinnon): Years after leaving his childhood home of Fort Kent, Maine, veterinarian Sam Thibodeau returns with his wife and veterinary partner to open a practice. Sam's first girlfriend also returns to town.


  • Island Deathtrap (1983): Executioner series #56, Mack Bolan. A juggernaut of bedrock justice turns coastal Maine into a raging inferno.

PERKINS, Virginia Chase

  • One Crow, Two Crow (1971): Novel set on Maine's lonely barrens, where the land itself, fertile only for scrub and wild blueberries, breeds into those who live there something of its strength, its storms, and its silences. A story of goodness, of struggle and courage, and ultimately of joy.
  • American House (1944; illus. Janet Nelson): Humorous story of family-run hotel in early 1900s Maine.


  • The Sheriff: A Modern Maine Story in Which Pride and Politics, Romance and Rum are Curiously Intermingled (1911)


  • Mary's Field (2002): A debut novel about a man's spiritual struggles with God, written in acrostic prose, set in Cape Neddick, Maine in 1974. Mary's Field Website.

PHILBRICK, W. Rodman (AKA William R. Dantz)

  • Coffins (2002): A gothic tale set in a Maine seaport village of White Harbor just prior to the Civil War.


  • Hermit's Island (1967): Gothic mystery. Torry Benson's inheritance of an intriguing island paradise -- an unexpected legacy from a relative she'd never even known existed -- had come at a time when her career in New York was at a disheartening standstill. Torry planned to make a new home, but the island soon revealed itself as a place of fear, suspicion and murder.


  • Dreams in the Key of Blue (2000): Forensic psychiatrist Lucas Frank has come out of retirement and returned to the East Coast to teach a seminar on gender and the serial killer at a small girls' college in Ragged Harbor, Maine. When one of his avid students and her roommates are murdered, the police call upon Frank and his expertise.

PHIPPEN, Sanford

  • The Police Know Everything (1982): Short stories of Downeast Maine.
  • The Best Maine Stories: The Marvelous Mystery (1986): Edited by Phippen, Charles Waugh and Martin Greenberg. Stories by Willis Johnson, Rebecca Cummings, Virgina Chase, Holman Day, Ben Ames Williams, Carolyn Chute, Stephen Minot, Ruth Moore, Margaret Osborn, Arthur Train, more. A broad sampling of the diverse ways authors have chronicled their individual experience with Maine culture and character.
  • Kitchen Boy (1996): The coming-of-age story of a working class Maine boy and his adventures serving summer folk at a resort on the Maine Coast during the 1960s.


  • The Tenth Circle (2006): "A metaphorical journey through Dante's Inferno, told through the eyes of a small (Bethel) Maine family whose hidden demons haunt every aspect of their seemingly peaceful existence" (Amazon review). Trixie Stone is a perceptive 14-year-old who begins mutilating herself in the girl's bathroom after Bethel High's star hockey player breaks up with her. Her father, Daniel, ignores Trixie's behaviour changes, and his wife's barely hidden affair as well, but when Trixie gets raped, her parents are forced to deal not only with the consequences of her physical and emotional trauma but with their own transgressions as well.


  • Blackwater Tango (2002): Psychological thriller set on Monhegan Island, Maine. Tracking a serial killer, psychologist and ex-FBI profiler Gena Hollender, who lives in Manhattan, ends up in coastal Maine when his latest victim is found in a lobster trap at the bottom of the harbor.

POLLACK, Elisabeth

  • The Rowantree Crop (1989): Novel of magic and illusion, mystery and murder, and romance and death; follows the characters through four seasons of love, friendship, introspection, recurring fear and suspicion and finally murder.
  • The Gathering (1997): Murder mystery set in the mountains of western Maine, somewhere close to Bethel, Maine.


  • The Troublemaker (1972): Mystery set in Maine.

PRESTON, Douglas J., and Lincoln Child

  • Riptide (1998): A high-tech expedition comes to a Maine's Ragged Island (based on Nova Scotia's Oak Island) to hunt for $2 billion in gold pirate's treasure, buried in the deadly labyrinthine Water Pit.

PRESTON, Douglas

  • Impact (2010): Thriller, set in California, Cambodia, and Maine. Former CIA operative Wyman Ford is asked to investigate the sudden appearance of radioactive gemstones originating in Cambodia; "meanwhile, college dropout and frustrated astronomer Abbey Straw, who believes she witnessed a meteor's fall, embarks on a search of small islands near her Maine home to locate pieces of the meteorite to sell on eBay."

PRESTON, Fayrene

  • SwanSea Place: The Legacy (1990): Loveswept series #383. Caitlin Deverell had been born in SwanSea, the family home in Maine, and now she is restoring it to its former splendor to open as a luxury resort. Nico is a mysterious, handsome stranger, with an ancient secret that draws him to SwanSea.

PROBERT, Randall

  • A Warden's Worry (2005): After Korea, an Army veteran retires to a northern Maine village, takes up a life of poaching and matches wits with the local game warden.
  • Mysteries at Matagamon Lake (2003)
  • A Forgotten Legacy (1998): Historical novel. Uncle Royal takes the reader on a canoe trip from Matagamon Lake to Churchill Dam at the headwater of the Allagash River. While on this trip the reader will discover some of Maine's unique history.
  • The Quandry at Knowles Corner (2007): Game warden Ian Randall is considering retirement when he finds someone looking for buried treasure in the deserted settlement at Hastings Brook.


  • Games (1976): Senator David Jackman escapes from the pressures of Washington by going on a trip to a lavish estate on a Maine island with his lover. All is not as he hoped it would be when he realizes they aren't alone on the island. Before long, they are running for their lives.