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PeakTuringTwentieth Century EightballTwinmakerTwo Can PlayTwo Little Girls in BlueUnaccustomed EarthUnder Rose-Tainted SkiesUnder the DamUnder the HarrowUnder the InfluenceUnfitUnholy StoriesUniversal HarvesterUnkemptUnlessUp in FlamesUp in the AirUpstateValenciaVenus DriveVeronika Decides to DieVery ValentineViolet & ClaireVisits from The Drowned GirlVoid MoonWaiting for SunriseWakeWastelandWatching the DarkWe Are All Completely Beside OurselvesWe Are OkayWelding with ChildrenWell-Remembered DaysWemberly WorriedWhat Became of UsWhat It Means to Love YouWhat the Birds SeeWhat Waiting Really MeansWhat Was She Thinking? Notes on a ScandalWhat We Don't Know About ChildrenWhat's So Terrible About Swallowing an Apple Seed?When We Were AnimalsWhen We Were OrphansWhere We LivedWhite HotWhy Did I EverWidowWild AwakeWild ChildWill@epicqwest.comWillful CreaturesWitWithout TessWolf in White VanWomen's Murder Club Box SetYou or Someone Like YouYou Should Have KnownYou Will Know MeYour Body is ChangingYour Heart Belongs to MeZapZap
Peak by Archer Mayor is the twelve in this series of Vermont mysteries
staring Joe Gunther. This one finds Gunther investigating murder and malicious
mischief in the wintery wonderland of an exclusive ski resort.
Peak is set in cold and snowy Vermont. Tucker Peak, a ski resort and condo
association, is in big trouble. Financially, the resort is not earning as much
as it should, so management is trying to spruce the place up in order to
attract investors. Unfortunately, their improvement plans have run up against a
local environmental group, Tucker Protection League, that has as its modus
operandi, protests, malicious mischief, and minor accidents. In addition, a
number of burglaries have plagued the resort. When a valuable watch is stolen,
the wealthy victims threats to go public forces the resorts management to
pressure the local sheriff to turn to the newly formed Vermont Bureau of
Investigation (VBI) for help. Joe Gunther, the head of the Brattleboro division
of the VBI trace the watch to a small time crook named Marty Gagnon.
Unfortunately, Gagnon is on the lam, and some one is not above torturing and/or
murdering his friends in an attempt to find him. Meanwhile when potentially
dangerous accidents begin happening at Tucker Peak, Gunther and sexy VBI
detective, Sammie Martens, go undercover at the resort. Will Gunther and his
staff find the killer, stop the accidents, and save Tucker Peak from
is filled with local color. The book aptly portrays the immense difference in
the wealth and lifestyle of the rich snowbirds in their chalets and discos
versus the locals who may be barely eking out a living. In addition, the author
has worked long and hard on the continuing relationships between the main
characters. Gunther is struggling to make the VBI work and is trying to
maintain good working relationships with local law enforcement personnel. Gunther and his longtime lover, Gail Zigman
are a sophisticated pairing contrary to the unlikely and often quirky affair
between Sammie and her misanthropic colleague, Willie Kunkle. Kunkle is a loose
canon that can go off in very unusual and unpredictable directions. (I will
fess up to a real belly laugh or two at his antics and colorful additions to
Archer Mayor is best known as the
author of the highly successful series of mystery novels featuring former
Brattleboro policeman and now of the VBI, Joe Gunther. The Joe Gunther series began in 1988 with Open Season (1988), Borderlines (1990), Scent of
Evil (1992), The Skeleton's Knee
(1994), Fruits of the Poisonous Tree
(1995), The Dark Root (1995), The Ragman's Memory (1996), Bellows Falls (1997), The Disposable Man (1998), Occam's Razor (1999), Marble Mask (2000) and Tucker (2001) Before turning to fiction,
Mayor was 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 France, and a medical illustrator. He is a graduate of Yale
University. And has been a faculty member at Middlebury College's New England
Young Writers' Conference at Breadloaf. When not writing, Mayor is the Newfane
(VT) town constable as well as a volunteer firefighter/ Emergency Medical
Technician for the New Brook Fire Department in Newfane. He is now also an
assistant medical examiner for the state of Vermont, and frequent speaker at
the annual Seminar on Forensic Sciences at Colby College in Maine. Archer Mayor
lives in Newfane, Vermont. The next Joe Gunther mystery, The Snipers Wife, is slated for release in October 2002.
Peak is a deadly serious yet sometimes humorous procedural that look at
life and murder on the slippery slopes at a Vermont ski resort. The book is
filled with local color and is worth reading for the atmosphere alone, however,
the mystery is also good too. I enjoyed this novel and recommended it.
© 2002 Su Terry
Su Terry: Education:
B.A. in History from Sacred Heart University, M.L.S. in Library Science from
Southern Connecticut State College, M.R.S. in Religious Studies/Pastoral
Counseling from Fairfield University, a M.Div. in Professional Ministry from
New Brunswick Theological Seminary, a Certificate in Spirituality/Spiritual
Direction from Sacred Heart University. She is a Licensed Minister of the
United Church of Christ and an Assistant Professor in Library Science at
Dowling College, Long Island, NY. Interests in Mental Health: She is interested
in the interplay between psychology, biology, and mysticism. Her current area
of research is in the impact of hormonal fluctuation in female Christian mystics.
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