cover image Mom and Dead: An Andrew Broom Mystery

Mom and Dead: An Andrew Broom Mystery

Ralph M. McInerny. Atheneum Books, $20 (215pp) ISBN 978-0-689-12181-4

In the latest Andrew Broom mystery, an entertaining excursion into the small Indiana community of Wyler on the Tippecanoe River, the prolific author of the Father Dowling series introduces a disparate cast and then deftly connects them. Lawyer Broom's interests are piqued when his longstanding rival begins negotiations for an unnamed client who wants to buy up riverside property. At the same time, Jack Parry, mechanic, local lothario and drug go-between, learns from his neighbor Louise that his young son, who lives nearby with his ex-wife, has found a human skull buried in the riverbank. Meanwhile, politician Boyd Carlson is being pressured into banning bingo, a prospect distressing to some Wyler residents. When farmer Jerome Blatz is arrested for murdering the meddlesome Louise (the murder weapon, a bloody shovel, is found in his truck), Broom agrees to defend him. The lawyer decides that his client is not guilty, a sentiment the sheriff doesn't share, so Broom and his nephew Gerald, also a lawyer, must find out who really killed the woman and why. On their way to a conclusion, they unearth more secrets and find the pattern behind the other recent events in town. (Jan.)