First Sentence: It was cold, dark, and slightly breezy, causing a few dry snowflakes to scurry the length of Sally Kravitz's windshield.
PI Sally Kravitz works within the law, as opposed to her father, a thief known as "Tag Man." Rachel Reiling is a reporter working at the Brattleboro Reformer, hoping for her first big story. Now, thanks to Joe Gunther, head of the Vermont Bureau of Investigation, the women are working together to connect two murders to a prestigious prep school.
While this is a new entry in the Vermont Bureau of Investigation/Joe Gunther series, Mayor provides a good sense of each of his characters beginning with a nicely done introduction of Joe, but also a strong sense of place as well. It's refreshing to have two female characters take a significant role. Also enjoyable is that they are not members of the police, and that they are quite different from one another, yet find a way to work well together.
One may find oneself smiling at how well the plotting is done. Interesting 3D crime scene technology brings the story into today's technology. There are times where the scene would change which made one mentally hear the classic two-note scene indicator on the old police show "Dragnet." The changes also made the story feel a bit disjointed.
There are lighter moments—"Idle chat in Vermont was always punctuated by discussions of mud season, mosquito plagues, heat waves, dry spells, snowstorms, black ice, and countless other attributes of a muscular, quirky seasonal parade of weather-related iconography." Mayor does treat one to a lovely use of language—"Biased as he was against other people's learning curves, obdurateness, or rank stupidity, he distrusted his own predisposition to dismiss people prematurely."
The book is a delightfully intricate Venn diagram of circles neatly intersecting circles. It's not manipulative, but one becomes more intrigued as the pattern emerges. The characters are interesting especially as not everyone is as they seem, and a new friendship evolves which one hopes to see continue.
BOMBER'S MOON (PolProc-Joe Gunther-Vermont-Contemp) – VG
Mayor, Archer – 30th in seriesMinotaur Books – Sept 2019