- File Size: 1460 KB
- Print Length: 211 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publication Date: May 7, 2016
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01FC92AKG
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,382 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$9.99|
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November's Past (Larry Macklin Mysteries Book 1) Kindle Edition
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In many ways, this first in a series debut novel reminded me of Margaret Maron's Deborah Knott books set in Collier County in North Carolina; intriguing mystery, believable and. more important, a likable main character, plus an ensemble cast of sometimes quirky folks, solid, workmanlike writing, and a serviceable plot. The added delight, for me, was Maron's location, because back in the day I lived smack in the middle of the area, and here, Deputy Larry Macklin lives in the fictional Adams County, in spitting distance of Tallahassee, where I live now. It's old home week, again.
Deputy Macklin would rather do something else, although he isn't exactly sure what that would be. His father, with whom he has "issues," is the sheriff., so he is taking the path of least resistance for the moment. Crime is more or less minimal. But when a mutilated body and possible arson pop up within a day or two of each other, Our Hero, who never sees himself that way, sets off to solve the crimes if he can. Along the way we meet the sheriff's dog, Mauser, a thoroughly engaging Great Dane, Larry's cat Ivy, a vet tech with romantic possibilities, and some prominent Adams County denizens Who Should Know Better.
The mystery was not particularly deep, although I prefer to keep reading and not second-guess the author, and when The Big Reveal occurred, I was pleasantly surprised. Some folks have commented that they thought it was a stretch, but I disagree--it made perfect sense, in light of the clues dropped judiciously along the way, and the villain was indeed a nice touch.
As a rule, I'm not a big fan of a series, but this one began well enough, and I enjoyed reading it sufficiently to download the second and third volumes. It won't strain your brain, but it will provide some laughs, chuckles, and fast page-turnings on a hot, humid North Florida afternoon.
While I hate living in a smallish town, I do enjoy reading about others who do - misery loves company? - and the author makes the most out of the complications therein. Everyone is connected in some regard and never forgets what happened "back then." The book moves along well, the plot is unique, and I certainly didn't see the end coming.
I hope to read more of Howe's books, going back to the first month of his writing calendar.
That might have been a self-deprecating quip, but he follows this “I hate my job” whinge by jumping to conclusions: it’s a drug killing & big city killers dumped this body in his small town.
Later back at HQ, he noses in on another investigator’s arson case, thinking “Maybe with a little luck I could solve it before him.” <insert eye-rolling emoji here>
As for the supporting cast:
1. MC’s overweight partner works a side-job at a Waffle House, falls asleep whilst attending a murder scene (because he never gets enough sleep), and eats a huge breakfast every morning for an hour or more, at a nearby restaurant/grill—on county time.
2. Another investigator is a “little shit” who no wants to work with and whose ex-wife moved across country to get away from him.
I sighed but read on to discover that the MC took the police investigator job because his father is the sheriff. More, the MC doesn’t get along with his sheriff-father, who happens to have a 190 lb. Great Dane that misbehaves to the point of being destructive—because it’s never been trained.
So many books to read and so little time! I declare this book DNF. Onto the next book on my To Read List.
2 Stars because the author had a decent editor.