- format: Kindle (Amazon)
- File Size: 723 KB
- Print Length: 256 pages
- Publisher: Seventh Street Books (May 5, 2015)
- Publication Date: May 5, 2015
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00N6PCPX6
- #1 in Marjorie Trumaine series
- Author website: www.larrydsweazy.com
1964—Life on the North Dakota farm hasn’t always been easy for Marjorie Trumaine. She has begun working as a professional indexer to help with the bills—which have only gotten worse since the accident that left her husband, Hank, blind and paralyzed. When her nearest neighbors are murdered in their beds, though, Marjorie suddenly has to deal with new and terrifying problems.
Sheriff Hilo Jenkins brings her a strange amulet, found clutched in the hand of her murdered neighbor, and asks her to quietly find out what it is. Marjorie uses all the skills she has developed as an indexer to research the amulet and look into the murders, but as she closes in on the killer, and people around her continue to die, she realizes that the murderer is also closing in on her.
This novel is a bit like a cozy set in North Dakota, although some truly horrifying murders take place and it really looks like there is a serial killer on the loose.
It probably is important to note the time setting of the book: 1964, and at times I lost sight of that. It does help explain some aspects of the story: the fact that Marjorie's house telephone is a party line, the relative isolation of their farm, the cars they drive, the lack of medical treatment for Hank, and the sort of work Marjorie is doing as an indexer (although I guess there is still work doing that. The author himself is credited with having written indexes for over 800 books).
The thread that binds the plot together and explains the the murders is an interesting one, and I think the author does a good job with local customs and the North Dakota lifestyle.
It kept me reading until the end. One by one the suspects were eliminated, and then at the end there was a good twist which I should have seen coming.
My rating: 4.3
About the author
Larry D. Sweazy (pronounced: Swayzee) is a two-time winner of the WWA (Western Writers of America) Spur award. He won for Best Short Fiction in 2005 for the short story, "The Promotion" and in 2013 for The Coyote Tracker (Josiah Wolfe, Texas Ranger #5) for Best Original Mass Market Paperback. He was nominated for a SMFS (Short Mystery Fiction Society) Derringer award in 2007. His first novel, The Rattlesnake Season (Josiah Wolfe #1), was a finalist in the Best Books of 2010 Indiana literary competition. His second novel, The Scorpion Trail (Josiah Wolfe #2) won the 2011 Will Rogers Medallion Award for Western Fiction and the 2011 Best Books of Indiana literary competition in the fiction category. The Scorpion Trail (Josiah Wolfe #2) is the only Western to win the Best Books of Indiana. The Cougar's Prey (Josiah Wolfe #4) won the 2012 Will Rogers Medallion Award for Western Fiction, making Larry a two-time back-to-back winner of the award. He has published over 60 non-fiction articles and short stories, which have appeared in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine; Boys' Life; Hardboiled; Amazon Shorts, and several other publications and anthologies. Larry is the author of ten novels, including books in the Josiah Wolfe, Texas Ranger series, the Lucas Fume series (Berkley), a standalone thriller, The Devil's Bones (Five Star), and the Marjorie Trumaine Mystery series (Seventh Street Books). He is member of ITW (International Thriller Writers), MWA (Mystery Writers of America), and WWA (Western Writers of America). He lives in Indiana with his wife, Rose.