BOOK REVIEW: THE SECOND MOUSE
Vermont Bureau of Investigation Field Force Commander Joe Gunther heard the dispatch as he was driving by so he stopped to see if he could help Vermont State Police Detective Doug Matthews. Though their law enforcement units are rivals, the two senior cops have a respect for one another and welcome the assistance. The victim is Michelle Fisher, whose longtime boyfriend Archie Morgan died seven months ago and had been in a dispute ever since with Archie’s father Newell over ownership of the former schoolhouse she called home.
While on the surface it looks like a natural cause death as there is no sign of a struggle, Joe finds some anomalies that disturb him especially the missing cat and Archie obtaining an eviction notice. He decides to visit Newell in upper crust Bennington, but waited to hear from Doug as to what the ME determines, which turns out to be natural causes after years of substance abuse. No one would care if Joe dropped the case as the victim is a nobody who took drugs and alcohol, no one that is except conscientious and ethical Joe who begins an inquiry to find a missing cat who he believes will lead to a killer.
Though this reviewer is not sure how Joe found the time to investigate in terms of case workload, readers see the dedicated cop at his best as he makes inquiries into the death of a woman who more likely committed suicide than was murdered. The investigation is terrific as the Morgan crowd refuse to cooperate beyond the specificity of the inquiry as they believe Michelle got her just desserts. However, Joe makes the mystery work with his need to follow his hunch that someone has gotten away with murder.
REVIEWED BY HARRIET KLAUSNER
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