“The Orphan’s Guilt”

“The Orphan’s Guilt” drops readers into Vermont, famous for cows, trees, ice cream, and opinionated politicians. This book is part of a continuing series, but all characters are briefly introduced, and previous relationships fold easily into current scenarios. New readers can jump right in without any problem. There is plenty of friendly everyday interactions and banter that make characters likeable, personable and appealing. Readers get to know them almost as friends.

Joe Gunther of the Vermont Bureau of Investigation finds that what started as an unremarkable DUI stop, has ballooned into something very different. Mayor adds Rachel Reiling of “The Brattleboro Reformer” and Sally Kravitz, private problem-solver, to the mix of regular investigators.  These are familiar characters, having played small roles in the past, but these are players from outside the “law enforcement clubhouse” so the mood is different, and they are not always governed by the rigid rules of “official” procedure. The details of the case are not as clear cut as it first seems, and a troubling picture gradually emerges. The Investigation uncovers past events that if true, point to a previous “accidental death” as actually being a homicide.

“The Orphan’s Guilt” is rich in complexity and moral challenges. The characters are tenacious and believable. This book is an excellent of Mayor’s exceptional storytelling skills. I received a review copy of “The Orphans Guilt” from Archer Mayor, St Martin’s Press, and Minotaur Books. I recommend the entire series.