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A Superior Mystery (Michael Tanner Mystery) Paperback – September, 2002


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Product Details

  • Series: Michael Tanner Mystery (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 302 pages
  • Publisher: Top Publications; First Edition edition (September 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1929976178
  • ISBN-13: 978-1929976171
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,990,501 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on May 26, 2003
Format: Paperback
Near Ashland, Wisconsin, Chequamegon Resource Recovery Company plans to salvage lumber that sunk to the bottom of Chequamegon Bay off Lake Superior in the 1890s. The firm offers a public relations job to Seattle based Michael Tanner claiming that their concept is economically sound in terms of profit and local jobs and ecologically superior to cutting down trees.
Michael wonders why a small Wisconsin firm would turn to Washington State for a minor leaguer like he knows he is. More surprising is how far his client dug into his life. They know his beloved Mary Whitney has ties to the area and needs a sailboat that they offer as part of the deal.
Life in the northern Midwest seems idyllic to Michael until the crew brings up the skeletal remains of a person starting with a detached skull. Soon it becomes obvious that the victim was shot in the back over a century ago. Though planning to stay out of the 1890s murder, Michael is forced to investigate to keep his beloved Mary and himself safe from a modern day felon.
The second Tanner ecological mystery (see the vividly descriptive INNER PASSAGES) is a superb who-done-it starring a delightfully reluctant hero. The story line is straightforward in terms of the modern day shenanigans though the use of flashbacks interspersed throughout the novel brings 1890s Wisconsin to life inside a murder subplot. Carl Brookins does not beat around the bush as he targets a college graduate save the environment audience with this well written, picturesque novel that lucidity uses a murder theme to render a strong ecological message.
Harriet Klausner
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on April 7, 2003
Format: Paperback
Carl Brookins has a history as a freelance photographer; mystery reviewer; Cable TV administrator; a Public Television program director; and a faculty member at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul. A Superior Mystery is a Michael Tanner follow-up to his first mystery, Inner Passages.
Michael Tanner us a successful public relations executive from Seattle. His second wife, Mary Whitney, is an heiress to an industrial empire. Both share a love of sailing. When Michael receives a call from a lumber recovery firm in Ashland, Wisconsin, he and Mary decide to go to hear their pitch and check out the area of Lake Superior as tourists and sailors. Mary's family has logging roots in Ashland, which seems to be more than a coincidence. But when Michael and Mary repeatedly find themselves targets of someone intent upon bodily harm, the plot heats up, particularly when they discover Mary's first husband may be behind some of the mischief:
"'I can think of a couple of reasons,' Mary paused and took a drink of beer while she organized her thoughts. 'He already knew a lot about how I think and he must have remembered that the Whitneys cleared some of this land. He could easily find out about you,' her hand reached out and tapped Tanner's, 'and the firm. Could he have concocted a scheme to take some kind of revenge on me? Or on both of us?' She looked at Tanner and he saw the concern in her eyes."
A Superior Mystery is a well written yarn containing some of the finer things one would associate with a mystery: deep water; storms; car crashes; sailing; and wealth. Michael Tanner and his wife Mary are interesting and wealthy characters who lead a life not unlike the Harts from Hart to Hart. They bring in just enough glamour to entice the reader.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 9, 2003
Format: Paperback
Minnesota author Carl Brookins has set his second Michael Tanner sailing mystery in Northern Wisconsin. A SUPERIOR MYSTERY, takes place on Chequamegon Bay and in the communities of Bayfield, Washburn and Ashland.
The story follows public relations executive Michael Tanner and his wife Mary, who are hired to develop a marketing plan for a fictional Ashland, Wisconsin, company called Chequamegon Resource Recovery. The company is raising and selling old growth timber from the bottom of the bay. Divers find a skull among the sunken timber, and a visiting environmentalist is found dead in the company's warehouse. Questions are raised in the investigation which threatens the foundation of the firm.
While Tanner's wife does research in Washburn and Bayfield, to try to determine a name for the skull, Tanner discovers unexpected threats to both him and his wife, and secretive meetings of company executives in Ashland. Mystery and suspense, together with a strong sense of the Wisconsin locale combine to make A SUPERIOR MYSTERY a solid read.
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More About the Author

Retired from a local university, I've entered a new career as a reviewer and author. The Michael Tanner/Mary Whitney sailing adventure series (INNER PASSAGES, A SUPERIOR MYSTERY, OLD SILVER) are my initial foray.

Now I'm branching out with a new series featuring a Twin Cities detective named Sean NMI Sean. His first story is THE CASE OF THE GREEDY LAWYERS. I live and work in Minnesota and travel with that nefarious band of authors called the Minnesota Crime Wave.Sean's current case is THE CASE OF THE PURLOINED PAINTING, having to do with WWII souvenir retrieval.