I could not find as much on-line about the author as we like to, so the links below are pretty sparse and there's a kind of a real life mystery here. Mr. Jaspersohn wrote just two novels about his P.I. Peter Boone and this first entry in the series (?) won the Shamus Award for Best Paperback. But then he abandoned the genre and appears to have concentrated instead on children's books. We've discussed the difficulty of setting hard-boiled fiction in Vermont in the context of Archer Mayor, so maybe this was a wise decision, but based on this auspicious start it would have been nice to see what he could do with his hero.
Peter Boone is a Dartmouth grad and former Red Sox pitcher who left the game after his wife was murdered. He tracked down the man who killed her and then became a private detective so he could right other wrongs. In the meantime, he lives in relative seclusion with his dogs and spends his free time fly-fishing. A native Vermonter, he knows his way around all the small towns and backroads, but has also been a detective long enough to navigate the bureaucracy. His specialty is finding lost kids and, having found the governor's, he even has some chits to call in. All of this comes in handy when he is hired to find 16-year-old Holly Brand, a quiet girl with a disturbing family who has run away from home. Finding her and returning her home are just the start of a case that turns into a murder investigation and reveals local corruption.
Boone is a likable protagonist. As so often in a first novel, there's a little too much to him, from the baseball career to being oddly adept with his fists to suddenly finding the new love of his life. The story would not suffer at all, and might well benefit, were he a little more vulnerable and more lonely. A longer series arc would have allowed for a settled character who then changed and grew throughout. the change here is kind of sudden.
But those are quibbles. The book he's given us is a delight especially if you know the region. regardless, it's a fine entry in the p.i. field.
See also:Private Eyes
-AWARD: Best PI Paperback Original: Native Angels [Peter Boone] by William Jaspersohn (Shamus Awards)
-Peter Boone Created by William Jaspersohn (Thrilling Detective)
-William Jaspersohn [1947-] (Stop You're Killing Me!)
-ESSAY: NED GILLETTE PLANS TO ROW, ROW, ROW HIS BOAT ALL THE WAY TO ANTARCTICA (William Jaspersohn, 12/15/86, Sports Illustrated)
-ESSAY: A CONNECTICUT CRAFTSMAN BREATHES NEW LIFE INTO OLD WOODEN CANOES (William Jaspersohn, 4/21/86, Sports Illustrated)
-ESSAY: THE CATAMOUNT TRAIL WILL LET SKIERS TRAVERSE THE LENGTH OF VERMONT (William Jaspersohn, 12/09/85, Sports Illustrated)
-ESSAY: DREISSIGACKER SYNTHETIC OARS HAVE SWEPT BY THE TRADITIONAL WOODIES (William Jaspersohn, 11/12/84, Sports Illustrated)
-REVIEW ARCHIVES: William Jaspersohn (Kirkus)
-REVIEW ARCHIVES: Books by William Jaspersohn (Publishers weekly)
-ARCHIVES: William Jaspersohn (Sports Illustrated Vault)
-REVIEW: of THE BALLPARK: One Day Behind the Scenes at a Major League Game by William Jaspersohn (Kirkus)
-REVIEW: of The Ballpark (Let's Go Sox)
-REVIEW: of Grounded by William Jaspersohn (Publishers Weekly)
-REVIEW: of The Two Brothers by William Jaspersohn (Publishers Weekly)
-REVIEW: of Cranberries by William Jaspersohn (Kirkus)
-REVIEW: of MAGAZINE: Behind the Scenes at Sports Illustrated by William Jaspersohn (Kirkus)
-REVIEW: of Magazine (NY Times Book Review)
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