REVIEWED BY BARRY GARDNER:         


ARCHER MAYOR – The Skeletonís Knee. Mysterious Press, hardcover, December 1993; paperback reprint, November 1994. Joe Gunther #4.

   Iíve said it before, and Iíll say it again: Mayor is one of the best writers to come along in the last few years.

ARCHER MAYOR Joe Gunther

   Lieutenant Joe Guntherís got a 25 year old murder. A man just died who lived on a farm outside Brattleboro, Vermont, and the autopsy shows it was the result of an old, untreated bullet wound. Nobody knows anything about the man, but he had a lot of old, circa 1969 and before, cash money.

   When the police go over the grounds searching for a gun, they uncover a skeleton with an artificial knee, also circa 1969. The trail leads to Chicago where the operation was performed, and leads Joe down unforeseen paths, and into unexpected danger.

   Mayor tells a story about as well as anyone writing cop novels these days. His prose can be almost lyrical when describing the Vermont countryside, and crisp and clean when describing the to and fro of police work. Gunther is am appealing and well drawn character, as are several others who reappear in the series.

   The Chicago section of the book reads as realistically as the Vermont, which means Mayor has either been there or knows how to fake it well.

   Thereís a lot of nicely handled detective work, and the only problems I had with the book were a few plot elements that I had trouble believing fully. Thatís true with most of íem, though, and it doesnít keep me from recommending it to you.

— Reprinted from Ah, Sweet Mysteries #10, November 1993.


       The Joe Gunther series —

1. Open Season (1988)

ARCHER MAYOR Joe Gunther

2. Borderlines (1990)
3. Scent of Evil (1992)
4. The Skeleton’s Knee (1993)

ARCHER MAYOR Joe Gunther

5. Fruits of the Poisonous Tree (1994)
6. The Dark Root (1995)
7. The Ragman’s Memory (1996)
8. Bellows Falls (1997)

ARCHER MAYOR Joe Gunther

9. The Disposable Man (1998)
10. Occam’s Razor (1999)
11. The Marble Mask (2000)

ARCHER MAYOR Joe Gunther

12. Tucker Peak (2001)
13. The Sniper’s Wife (2002)
14. Gatekeeper (2003)
15. The Surrogate Thief (2004)
16. St. Alban’s Fire (2005)

ARCHER MAYOR Joe Gunther

17. The Second Mouse (2006)
18. Chat (2007)
19. The Catch (2008)
20. The Price of Malice (2009)
21. Red Herring (2010)

ARCHER MAYOR Joe Gunther