cover image Proof Positive: A Joe Gunther Novel

Proof Positive: A Joe Gunther Novel

Archer Mayor. Minotaur, $25.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-250-02639-2

Over 26 years and 25 books (most recently, 2013’s Three Can Keep a Secret), Joe Gunther has moved from police detective in Brattleboro, Vt., to special agent of the Vermont Bureau of Investigation, and, as he has grown in stature, so has the series. During the Vietnam War, Signal Corps photographer Benjamin Kendall suffered a head wound and PTSD. Now a reclusive hoarder, he has turned his Dummerston farmhouse property into a massive warren of junk. When Kendall’s body is found crushed “under a pile of personal effects,” it looks like an accident, but Kendall’s first cousin (and Gunther’s lover), Beverly Hillstrom, asks Gunther to take a look. Recently, Hillstrom’s college-age daughter, Rachel Reiling, discovered a cache of Kendall’s war photographs while shooting a school project, and they became part of an exhibit at an art gallery that attracted a couple of hit men. A wave of killings ensues. Stopping the killers means nothing unless Gunther can locate the man behind them. Mayor makes full use of Gunther’s excellent supporting cast, including Willy Kunkle, Lester Spinney, and Sammie Martens, in this smoothly plotted and absorbing mystery. Agent: Molly Friedrich, Friedrich Agency. (Sept.)