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Tucker Peak Hardcover – November 12, 2001

4.5 out of 5 stars 64 customer reviews
Book 12 of 23 in the Joe Gunther Mysteries Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The 12th book in Mayor's series featuring Vermont cop Joe Gunther (after 2000's The Marble Mask) is the best yet, filled with his usual strong characters, evocative settings, well-researched backgrounds and polished writing. Now the agent-in-charge in Brattleboro for the newly formed (and fictitious) Vermont Bureau of Investigation, Gunther looks into a string of condo burglaries at Tucker Peak, a local ski resort. In tracing a stolen watch to Marty Gagnon, an elusive small-time thief, Gunther's detectives discover someone else is looking for Gagnon, too, threatening and killing his friends. To find the connection between Gagnon and troubled Tucker Peak, Gunther and VBI detective Sammie Martens go undercover. The owners are seeking investors for upgrading and expansion, while an environmental group, Tucker Protection League, is protesting their operations (and suspected of sabotaging ski equipment). Gunther and his "inside man," ski instructor Richie Lane, find themselves in danger because of something or someone they saw, as hints of financial mishandling within TPL surface. The book's beauty lies in how smoothly Mayor incorporates these disparate elements into a coherent and suspenseful plot, with some of the strands winding back around each other. And the longtime relationship between Gunther and his lover, Gail Zigman and the unlikely affair between Sammie and her misanthropic colleague, Willie Kunkle reach firmer ground. Often labeled a "regional" writer, Mayor, with his intelligent plots, wit, relaxed style and understanding of human relationships, deserves wider recognition. (Nov. 12)Forecast: Print advertising in major media, an author tour to New York and Washington, D.C., and New England publicity could help make this Mayor's breakout book.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

A slew of burglaries and accidents at a ski resort in southern Vermont force the local sheriff to bring in Joe Gunther and his team from the Vermont Bureau of Investigation (VBI). This 12th Gunther mystery by Mayer (now a Vermont constable) again vividly portrays the hardscrabble life of southern Vermont, with its ambivalence toward the ski industry that sustains much of the economy and its dependence on snow. The various plot lines, though clever, are perhaps less fascinating than the relationships among the VBI team particularly the brutally frank and cynical Willy Kunkle and tough, young femme fatale Fammie Martens as well as Mayer's social commentary. For Mayer fans and mystery collections. Francine Fialkoff, "Library Journal"
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Mysterious Press (November 12, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0892967242
  • ISBN-13: 978-0892967247
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,219,578 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Archer Mayor is the New York Times bestselling author of the 26-book police
procedural series featuring detective Joe Gunther. In addition to his writing,
Mayor is a death investigator for Vermont's Office of the Chief Medical Examiner,
and a longtime detective for the Windham County Sheriff's Office.

He is a past winner of the New England Independent Booksellers Association Award
for Best Fiction--the first time a writer of crime literature has been so honored.
He was cited for Excellence in the Arts by the State of Vermont.

Mayor has integrated his actual police experiences with intricately
detailed plot lines into novels that The New York Times has called "dazzling,"
and Booklist has said are "among the best cop stories being written today."
The result adds a depth, detail, and veracity to his characters and their
tribulations that has led The New York Times to call him "The boss man on procedures,"
and the Arizona Daily Star to write, "Few deliver such well-rounded novels of such consistent high quality."

Archer Mayor--who was brought up in the US, Canada and France--has
been variously employed as a scholarly editor, a researcher for TIME-LIFE Books,
a political advance-man, a theater photographer, a newspaper writer/editor,
a lab technician for Paris-Match Magazine in Paris, France, and a medical illustrator.
He is a graduate of Yale University. Before turning his hand to fiction, Archer wrote history books.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Archer Mayor is like a master artistic puzzle builder. He takes a little bit here, a little bit there, weaves this into that, and what starts out as a seemingly straightforward and relatively innocuous (if crime can be innocuous) crime ends up being a complex labyrinth of events, motives, characters, and decisions that lead inexorably toward the climax and resolution. A mark of a good mystery writer is that the reader is left wondering almost until the last page, but when the answer comes, the reader says, "Of course, it fits perfectly! I should have seen that!" Mayor is one of the best at accomplishing this difficult objective. This skill also lends a sense of reality to his stories that few other mystery writers attain. That is, the complexity of his work shows how much each of us, our lives, our work, our unthinking reactions are intertwined with others - how, for example, in this story, a harmless ad for a watch on E-bay leads to the destruction of human life and paradoxically allows series regulars Kunkle and Sammie discover their need for each other. Tucker Peak is not for mystery readers who want a simple story unfettered by reality solved in 22 minutes (not counting commercials). It is an immensely satisfying read for those who not only want to escape the banality of daily life for a few hours of fiction-more-real-than-real, but who appreciate an intellectual and emotional challenge in the process.
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Format: Hardcover
The Vermont resort area of Tucker Peak is the setting used by Archer Mayor in this installment of his long running and enjoyable series featuring Joe Gunther. Tucker Peak is typical Vermont. For natives it is a fun place to work and a place to party all night. To outsiders, it seems a little too much on the rustic side and needs work. But the economies of places like Tucker Peak are changing, just like almost everything in life, and the owners think they have a new plan to rev up the resort and cash in. But their plan is being stopped by a group of radical environmentalists that want the resort to remain the way it has been and not create a further strain on the environment.
Joe Gunther now heads the newly created Vermont Bureau of Investigation and for once, his personal life is relatively stable. This allows Archer Mayor to focus more on the story and less on character development as Joe Gunther and his team becomes embroiled in theft, murder and corporate politics on the mountain.
Initially Joe and his team are called in by the local sheriff, Snuffy Dawson. Sheriff Dawson has his hand full with the daily protests of the environmental group. In addition, there has been a string of home burglaries with the latest involving a VIP by the name of William Manning. Along with his abrasive and condescending personality, Mr. Manning has the clout to get the governor personally involved. Mr. Manning believes that one of the sheriff's deputies who happens to moonlight for a second income as security on the mountain is in on the robbery and he does not want the local Sheriff's department involved in investigating the case. While Sheriff Dawson resents the implication that the deputy can't do the job or that he can't solve the robbery, he is understaffed and needs all the help he can get.
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Format: Hardcover
I have been reading the Joe Gunther books ever since I started Ragman's Memory, and have read all of the books in the series. Being from Vermont, I can relate to the location that the books are featured in. I have also had the liberty of meeting Archer Mayor at a signing.
Tucker Peak is the latest book in his Joe Gunther series, set at a fictional Ski resort in southern Vermont. There, a series of robberies and crime have occured, bringing Joe and his southern VT VBI team into the picture. They begin with a simple robbery case, and end up with a homoside one, reaveling that there is much more to the book than what meets the eye. Even from the last portion of the book, Mayor gives no indication of who is guilty and who is innocent.
Mayor sets the setting, characters and plot beautifully, capturing the image that is just so close to reality that some authors struggle with. Because he is also a Vermonter, he has the chance to research for his books easily.
He sets Tucker Peak very well, exposing the 'true' Vermont. Tucker Peak is a fictional ski resort, but it is real enough so that I can invision skiing down it's slopes. The towns, roads, cities and area are all familier to me, and that makes the book so much better.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The case of burglaries at a Condo at the Tucker Peak ski resort turns into everything from drug dealing to murder. I like to read the Joe Gunther novels for an hour or an hour and a half and let the descriptive images that Mayor paints time to form in my head. In this one, he described a third-rate ski resort with its rundown maintenance and its struggle to survive vividly. The action was great with Gunther again getting hurt. We also saw another side of Sammie Martens. The tough military-type cop transformed on the slopes to a woman that Willy Kunkle was jealous of. The interactions between the cops were great and I enjoyed every minute of the book.
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Joe Gunther is always good, but I took a little longer than usual to get into it. If you are not yet familiar with the series, I recommend that you start at book 1 and read your way through. This is another interesting and exciting offering from a very talented author.

I also enjoyed Sue Grafton's "Alphabet Mystery Series" "A" is for Alibi "A" is for Alibi (The Kinsey Millhone Alphabet Mysteries) and Mark Giminez The Color of Law: A Novel - but beware, some of his books are about politics, which is fine if you like that kind of thing, but not if you are expecting a good legal novel.

If you are looking for exciting adventure books for kids / teenagers, my mother recommends Jake Johnson And The Half Bloods (Quest 1) Jake Johnson And The Half Bloods (Quest 1) Jake Johnson And The Half Bloods (Quest 1) (Jake Johnson And The Greek Gods)and its sequel Jake Johnson And The Journey To Olympus (Quest 2) Jake Johnson And The Journey To Olympus (Quest 2) (Jake Johnson And The Greek Gods) (Previously Published as "The God Of War")

For even younger readers (6 to 9 years) try Mustachio Gets Kidnapped Mustachio Gets Kidnapped (Mustachio and Puppy Grace), which is a really cute story with a good moral about helping those in need.
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