When the Petroski's bought a charming but modest six-decades-old island retreat in coastal Maine, they couldn't help but admire its unusual construction. An eminent expert on engineering, history and design, Henry Petroski began wondering about the place's origins and evolution: who built it and how? What needs, materials, technologies, historical developments and laws shaped it? How it fared through the years with its various inhabitants? So begins and "architectural whodunit" that unlocks the secrets of a hand-built home. Hardcover. 297 pgs.