Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Avalanche-Patrick F. McManus

Patrick F. McManus
Simon & Schuster, Mar 25 2008, $14.00
ISBN: 9781416532774

In Blight County, Idaho, Blanche Wilson calls the Sheriff’s Department to report her spouse Mike is missing. Sheriff Bo Tully sees the investigation as an opportunity for him and his team (the previous sheriff his dad Pap and Dave the tracker) to take advantage of the upscale facilities at the West Branch Lodge, owned by the Wilsons.

However fantasies of hot tubs vanish as fast as an avalanche traps the father and son detecting team. The Tullys manage to get to the lodge where they find a horde of outsiders vacationing at the exclusive spot and a few locals including his dog sledding former girlfriend Janice. As they investigate in between hot tub soaks, they find the corpse of Mike and Bo’s deputies inform him that Horace Baker, Wilsons’ business partner, was murdered. The only motive to surface is Blanche has a multimillion dollar insurance policy on the two victims, but Tully and Pap think that is too obvious.

The latest Bo Tully Idaho police procedural (see THE BLIGHT WAY) is a terrific tale not because of the investigation, which lies behind the last sled dog, but due to the loving teasing between Tully and Pap, and Tully and Janice (as well as a few other females the hero meets during his hot soaks). The case is well written though straightforward, but it is the younger Tully’s eccentric relationships that make for a fun whodunit.

Harriet Klausner

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