Listen to the Dead

Listen to the Dead

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“Peffer is a very talented writer, readers advisers should recommend him aggressively to mystery readers of all stripes…”



Inspired by one of the largest unsolved cases of serial killings in the United States, the New Bedford Serial Killings of 1988.

Harbormaster Corby Church finds the bones of a human body on Bird Island off Cape Cod. As brassy, young police detective Yemanjá Colón struggles with the case, she realizes that Church may know more than he’s letting on, and a trip he took to the Bahamas in the ’80s may prove the key.


“In this solid entry in the Cape Islands mystery series (which is united by a common setting, rather than a common set of recurring characters), police detective Yemanja Colon is given what appears to be a simple assignment: find out whose bones were recently discovered on an island off Cape Cod. But it soon turns out that the bones may be connected to a two-decade-old, serial-murder case, and the man who discovered them, harbormaster Corby Church, might have a bit more personal knowledge of the case than he’s letting on. Based on a real-life serial murder case in New Bedford, Massachusetts, the novel is a sure-fire winner, with a gripping story, well-drawn characters, and an unusual setting. Peffer is a very talented writer, readers advisers should recommend him aggressively to mystery readers of all stripes, particularly those who enjoyed the late William Tapply’s Brady Coyne series.”

“Drugs, sex, and murder fuel Peffer’s fervid fifth Cape Islands mystery (after 2009’s Bangkok Dragons, Cape Cod Tears). When Bird Island harbormaster Corby Church stumbles on human bones on the island, rookie police detective Yemanjá Colón, based in the mainland town of Slocums Harbor, Mass., winds up on a terrifying journey. Eager to take on a real case, Yemanjá is soon channeling the voice of the victim, an unidentified white female in her 20s who died sometime in the late 1980s while the New Bedford serial killer, responsible for at least 11 murders, was active in the area. As the investigation heats up, so does Yemanjá‘s relationship with Corby, a relationship complicated by Corby’s coincidental involvement with the victim, eventually identified as Remy La Moreaux, with whom Corby and three other men once sailed to the Bahamas. Kept on a tight rein by police chief Chi Chi Bugatti, Yemanjá proves herself a feisty heroine readers will want to see more of.”
—Publishers Weekly

“Fueled by sex, drugs, long-suppressed memories, and the practice of Santeria, this fast-paced fifth entry in Peffer’s series (after Bangkok Dragons, Cape Cod Tears)is unusual and intriguing.”
—Library Journal