cover image Fire Season

Fire Season

Jon Loomis. Minotaur, $24.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-312-66813-6

An arsonist, a pregnant girlfriend, a troublesome mother with Alzheimer’s, and a cousin afraid of UFO aliens all plague acting police chief Frank Coffin in Loomis’s enjoyable third mystery featuring the Provincetown, Mass., cop (after 2009’s Mating Season). When a human head turns up in the lobster tank at the Fish Palace, and the arsonist graduates from dumpsters to larger targets, Frank’s problems really get serious. Goofy supporting characters and situations involve some of Provincetown’s many LBGT visitors, a parrot whose salty words cause a commotion at Billy’s bar, the new but balky equipment of the volunteer fire department, and Episcopal priest Father Brian’s personal struggles with God. Coffin handles everything with a weary patience and much ingenuity, assisted by Sgt. Lola Winters—and hindered by irrepressible Rodolfo Santos (aka Uncle Rudy). Those who like their murders served with a hearty helping of whimsy and humor will be rewarded. Agent: Maria Massie, at Lippincott Massie McQuilkin. (July)