Thimble (or Thumb!) Islands

In “Books Can Be Deceiving,” the first of Jenn McKinlay’s Library Lover’s Mystery series, Briar Creek and the Thumb Islands are really Stony Creek and the Thimble Islands in Branford, CT. While, thankfully, murder is not a regular thing in Stony Creek—a quality, affluent shoreline town with a village feel— it’s not difficult to imagine Lindsey Norris, the heroine of “Books,” going to work in Stony Creek’s Willoughby Wallace Memorial Libraryor taking a cruise to the Thimble Islands. The Thimbles are an archipelago of more than 100 tiny islands, some no larger than rocks and others, like the largest, Horse Island, spanning 17 acres. Twenty-five of the islands are inhabited with roughly 90 homes, some of which are full-fledge mansions and others no more than summer shacks. The name “Thimble” comes not from the size of the islands, but the thimbleberry (a type of black raspberry) that used to grow on them in abundance. Legend has it that Captain Kidd used the islands to evade the British Royal Navy in 1699 and buried treasure there.  Today, the islands are privately owned and carry names like Grey Rock, Potato Island, Pot Island, Money Island and Hen Island.

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