read: 29 October 2005
Everyone in Vermont loves Archer Mayor. I heard of him before I was really reading any mysteries, and once I started reading mysteries I forgot about him. The local librarian offered this book, the first in a series, as a good airplane book and she was right. It takes place in Brattleboro and is sort of the American equivalent to the cozy, all small town, a lot of peopel who know each other, not a lot of international travel or high tech intrigue. The main character is a policeman named Joe Gunther who is sort of a regular guy, good cop, knows the town etc. There is some Vermont flavor but not in the sort of out-of-towner way where everyone is going sugaring and going to ye olde swimming hole. There is the downside of poor rural areas, complete with racists and prostitutes as well as all the lovable old geezers.
In any case, I was surprised, though maybe I shoudln’t have been, that this “local” mystery was just as good if not better than the other mystery series that I read. The plot moves along, the characters are compelling, the storyline is complex and keeps you paying attention, while not being some sort of completely gross bloodbath or sadist adventure. I’m glad that my local librarian set me up with the first book in the series because now I know I’ll have a lot of fun winter reading ahead of me.
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