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Willowtree (Bruce DelReno Mysteries Book 1) Kindle Edition
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In the town of Willowtree, a man was killed. It appeared he had fallen off a cliff. Did he fall by accident or was he murdered? Years later Bruce and his dog Keely find another body. It too had fallen off a cliff, or had it been pushed? Within days another body is found. This one has been stabbed leaving no doubt that his death was murder. The connection between these three deaths - the La Banda club that had been formed when all of its members were still in school and a plant called jimsonweed, better known by the Indians as `loco weed.'
Bruce is a retired postman. He tired of the working world and retired with the aspect of doing his favorite pastime - playing golf. He and his friend Ben, who was also the brother of the first man to take a plunge over the cliff, spent most of their days trying to outdo each other on the course and thoroughly enjoying this new aspect in his life. That was until he found the body of the second cliff jumper. That is also when Bruce took up a new profession. He became an amateur detective decided to help speed up the progress of the police as they tried to solve the deaths of what soon became three murders.
This is one of the most light-hearted suspense/murder mysteries I've read in a long time. The camaraderie between Bruce, Ben and Bruce's wife Genny is priceless. And the ending - well I'll just say that I didn't see that coming. I hope this will be just the first of many more books to come from Author Mike Bove and his team of Bruce, Ben and Genny.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Since Bruce found the original bones he feels invested in the investigation. Many characters, many suspects, many friends.
Well written, good pace, climatic ending. Will read more of Bruce's adventures in retirement.
On all other levels, however, the book was enjoyable. Bruce is a good, strong character and the mystery of who did kill the poor guy in the rough is a good one.
When I first started reading, I had to slap my editor's hand as I wanted to stop and write a critique - "too much telling, Mike." But then I realized the narrative style was working. It was like sitting at the 19th Hole and listening to Bruce tell a story as only golfers and fishermen can.
If not for the plot problems and the fact that I would have liked to see more of Bruce's wife, I would have given this book four stars. The descriptions were wonderfully rendered, and I had a real sense of place as I was reading.
Dedicated golfer Bruce delReno hits a ball OB and finds bones. He can't shake the notion they might be human. When he, his anthropolgist friend and his dog Keely go to check out the bones (animal) they discover a dead body. Questioned by police, Bruce believes they're not quite convinced of his coincidental tale so Bruce decides to do some investigating himself. He has much support from his wife, Genny, help from his friends and even the murderer. He puts himself in danger and finds the desert flora as dangerous as the fauna.
What I appreciated about this novel was that, as a retired mailman, Bruce didn't make rash or stupid moves, but set about to find out how recent deaths connected to past unexplained death.
Bruce discovers a body in a ravine that skirts his favorite golf course. His natural curiosity and desire to remain an active member of the community drives him to help the police with the investigation, whether they want it or not.
Author Mike Bove does a nice job of developing the cast of characters. It was easy to form attachments to the central characters. Bruce has an Ed Asner-type cantankerous nature that will make you say, "I know that guy."
Mike also did a masterful job of balancing the whodunit element to the end. He played fair with the clues, yet offered enough red herrings and misdirection to keep me guessing throughout. Cozy fans will find a lot to like in this Bruce DelReno mystery.