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Stinger Maguire (Bruce DelReno Mysteries Book 2) Kindle Edition
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The buddy cop element with Ben was particularly entertaining and charming, and while the tag team partnership is a classic trope in mysteries, it didn't seem played out, and the relationship was unique and amusing. All in all, I can see this becoming a very strong series of mystery novels, because Bove seems to genuinely care about his characters just as much as the reader does, and he succeeds in delivering a powerfully unpredictable story that will have you shaking your head at the close. I promise - you won't see the ending coming in this marvelous whodunnit.
In his first work, Bove shows that he actually know what writing is about from just about the opening sentence. Briefly, the first book covers the day when Bruce finds a very dead body near his favorite golf course and, once he's cleared by police, he works to help solve the foul play in the small Arizona town of Willowtree. It's a very interesting read and even just a quick read shows that Bove is a talented writer.
His talent is getting better in the second Bruce DelReno novel Stinger McGuire. Always a talented golfer, Taryn (Stinger) McGuire joined the Professional Golfers Association (PGA) tour as a young player who had a variety of tricks in his golf bag, including the "stinger." If you follow tennis, you probably have heard of the inside-out forehand that keeps the ball flat and low, barely clearing the net and hitting the court in some interesting ways.
Stinger's "stinger" could be described as something like that. It was low, quick and snap-curved onto the fairway putting extra yardage on the shot. His repertoire of shots, power and accuracy made him a threat in any tourney. He had, after all, several PGA wins under his belt and his future looked bright, until someone decided to use him as a target in a very specialized driving range (you'll have to find out yourself). Stinger grew up in Willowtree and he is back in town to play in a local a charity tourney, but his role as a player is rather short as someone plays through him in the men's locker room at Stinger's old high school.
Because he has the time, Bruce has taken over as coach of the high school golf team and is the one who finds that Stinger had been stung permanently. He was asked to keep this one as quiet as possible, a rather impossible task in a tiny town with friends and others about.
As he unravels the ropes of this Gordian knotted case, Bruce has to deal with a whole series of secrets and prejudices that are just below the surface. He succeeds and establishes himself as a first-rate detective and an asset to the tiny Wintertree police department.
Since Bove is a golfoholic - he actually has the time to play golf to his heart's content since his real retirement from the Post Office - you would expect puns, jokes and inside jokes about golf and they are there (author's note: I was a scratch, hacker/duffer some years ago before I threw my sticks in a local dust bin, but I still like golf and I can understand what drives a writer like Bove and his fanaticism.
Bove's writing is like eating peanuts, by the way, you just can't stop with one so I hope he hurries up and gets Bruce back out there as soon as possible.
Bove jumps right into his story with an immediacy that guarantees he has his reader's attention. Bruce DelReno is a retired mailman and avid golfer who a year ago discovered the murdered body near the golf course. His discovery leads to an investigation that leads to some surprises in the little town of Willowtree. This time, a year later DelReno discovers another murder victim, this time a close friend and exceptional golfer Taryn `Stinger' Maguire who also happened to be a first rate humanitarian. Maguire had come to Willowtree for a charity event and was murdered at the golf course. DelReno, shocked at the loss of a respected man and a good friend, sets out to solve yet another murder and in the process uncovers secrets not only about the deceased Maguire but also the well kept secrets of the people of Willowtree. Again he engages the aid of his sidekick Ben Samuel, an Apache Indian, and interacts with all the people on the course and in the town until the murder is solved.
Bove's penchant for golf (seeming close to an obsession!) makes this a man's book that will appeal especially to golfers - lots of inside stories and thoughts and jokes spin through the narrative. But Bove has created a very recognizable hero character in Bruce DelReno that should serve as an anchor for many more novels. This book is a fine mixture of mystery and human comedy. Grady Harp, May 14