John D. MacDonald
This is classic John D. MacDonald. Published in 1953, it is vintage MacDonald. A regular person, Andy McClintock, working for a small construction company in Florida, find himself entangled in a murder. When his boss is killed with McClintock’s harpoon gun, he finds himself caught between the law and the murderer.
Tucson is fortunate to have Elizabeth Gunn as an active member of its writing community. She is very generous in sharing her experience as a writer and her fabulous personal history as well.
This is the first book of a series set in Tucson. Sarah is a newly minted homicide detective trying to prove herself in a tough environment. It doesn’t help that there’s something wrong with her boss. She just keeps her head down and does her job, but when her niece is kidnapped, it becomes personal.
A fast moving, murder mystery/police procedural, COOL IN TUCSON is entertaining and amusing. No matter how serious things get, Gunn is able to inject enough humor to keep the reader amused.
I love Donna Leon and love Det. Brunetti. He is so human, and the glimpses we get of his family life serve to make him a well-rounded character. These glimpses grow as the series continues. If I were rich, I’d buy all the books at the $9.99 price the publishers charge. As it is, I have to wait for a copy to show up for $1.99 and snap it up. As a result I’ve read the books wildly out of order, but that has done nothing to lessen my enjoyment. Reading the earlier books serves to make clear how much the character has grown over time. What has not lessened is my love of Venice and the views of it I have through these books. They just get better and better with time.
I must be lacking the murder mystery gene, because I didn’t care for this book. When I read a murder mystery, the characters are so much more important to me than the person killed and who killed him and why. In this book, no character was very appealing and I couldn’t find anyone to care about. The murdered man was nasty, everyone had the means, motive, and opportunity to kill him and even 15 minutes after finishing the book, I don’t remember which one M. Poirot fingered as the killer. I don’t care for bridge, either, so that leaves out any interest in the game, which is at the center of the mystery.
If you like reading mysteries for the puzzle, you might like this book. Unfortunately it left me cold.