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Bomber's Moon ()

The Wife and I met in the Upper Valley, in 1989, when I was at Vermont Law School and I followed her to Chicago as she finished Med School. But we wanted to come back, so she did her training and Fellowships at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and we've been here ever since. When we left Chicago, the Tribune was running a series called Killing our Children and every morning they'd run a front page photo of a child who'd been murdered in the city the day before. we got back to NH and there was a front page story in the Valley News about the state having to get a federal grant to investigate an armored car robbery downstate because the law enforcement budget did even allow for genuine crimes. [To be fair, we do live a quarter mile from the scene of the Zantop murders, but they were decidedly sui generis.]

Coincidentally, Archer Mayor began writing his Joe Gunther series during those same years. While every entry I've read has been enjoyable, it did start to strain credulity that these crimes consistently occurred in such a relatively placid region. By the fourth novel Joe was being shipped out to--go figure--Chicago just to expand the canvas. Over the years, I've kept up intermittently but I am more than a couple books behind. Nonetheless, we welcomed this review copy, not least because I wanted to see how Mr. Mayor has managed to keep the Gunther investigations fresh.

Sadly, he's been helped by the opiod crisis, which has made smalltown/rural crime more realistic and he has made Joe just a part of a large cast of characters, including his investigating team, local journalists, a female private eye and even several likable criminals. This brings the interplay of characters to the forefront for quite awhile until the focus shifts to a very New Englandy private school and the sort of historical crime that reminds one more of a P.D. James novel than an 87th Precinct tale. My only quarrel with the book is that the most interesting character--the ingenious thief, Alex Hale--leaves the tale all too early. Expanding his role would have served an already fine read well.


Grade: (B+)


See also:

Archer Mayor (2 books reviewed)
Archer Mayor Links:

    -WIKIPEDIA: Archer Mayor
    -BOOK SITE: Bomber's M (MacMillan)
-PROFILE: Through police procedurals and 'everyman' protagonist, Vermont's Mayor on a journey of self-discovery (John McGauley, Feb 23, 2019, Sentinel Source)
    -PROFILE: Archer Mayor releases new book, “Bomber’s Moon” (Vermont Journal, 9/19/19)
    -A special preview of Bomber’s Moon by Archer Mayor (Stratton Magazine, May 21, 2019)
-INTERVIEW: The Interrogation Room: A Q&A with author Archer Mayor (CRIME HQ, October 18, 2022, Criminal Element)
    -AUDIO INTERVIEW: Interview: Archer Mayor on the return of Joe Gunther (Jane Lindholm, June 3, 2009, VPR)
    -AUDIO INTERVIEW: Archer Mayor On 30 Years Of Detective Novels, Law Enforcement And Making Vermont Home (JANE LINDHOLM & MATTHEW F. SMITH, SEP 27, 2019, VPR: Vermont Edition)
    -INTERVIEW: Detective Novelist Archer Mayor Talks Character, Story and Making a Living (PAMELA POLSTON, Seven Days)
    -PROFILE: For Archer Mayor, the press is the enemy of the perpetrator (Kevin O'Connor, Sep 28 2018, VT Digger)
    -VIDEO INTERVIEW: (Fran Stoddard, 03/18/02, VT PBS: Profile)
    -PROFILE: Brattleboro: Vermont's Hotbed Of Fictional Crime (Neda Ulaby, August 1, 2011, NPR: Morning Edition)
    -ARCHIVES: "archer mayor" (NY Times)
    -ARCHIVES: "archer mayor" (YouTube)
    -REVIEW: of Bomber's Moon by Archer Mayor (Kirkus)
    -REVIEW: of Bomber's Moon (Publishers weekly)
    -REVIEW: of Bo
-REVIEW: of Bomber's Moon (Bruce Tierney, BookPage)
    -REVIEW: of Bomber's Moon (Carolyn Haley, new york journal of books)
    -REVIEW: of Trace ( KRISTIN CENTORCELLI, Criminal Element)
    -REVIEW: of Trace (Publishers Weekly)
    -REVIEW: of The Surrogate Thief (Marilyn Stasio, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW: of
-REVIEW: of Proof Positive (Marilyn Stasio, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW: of Price of Malice (Marilyn Stasio, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW: of Open Season (Angel Soto, Reviewing the Evidence)
    -REVIEW: of Open Season (Publishers Weekly)

Book-related and General Links: