Cover image for The marble mask
Title:
The marble mask
Author:
Mayor, Archer.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Mysterious Press, [2000]

©2000
Physical Description:
309 pages ; 24 cm
Language:
English
Geographic Term:
ISBN:
9780892967230
Format :
Book

Available:*

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X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
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X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
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X Adult Fiction Popular Materials-Mystery
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X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
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X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
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X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
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On Order

Summary

Summary

A frozen body is found on top of Vermont's tallest mountain in the middle of winter. Lost hiker? Foul play? Hard to tell until the marble-hard body is thawed out. There are a couple of odd things about it right off the bat, though. A hand and a foot have been broken off, as if from a great fall, and the body's clothing looks oddly old-fashioned.

The autopsy reveals an ice-pick wound to the heart, a Canadian driver's license dating back to just after World War Two, and that fact that the body's been dead & frozen for over fifty years.

The body is Jean Deschamps, an old-time smuggler from Sherbrooke, Quebec, who made a fortune during the war as an industrialist. His son Michel, now dying of cancer, has run the crime-family business since his father's disappearance. Both the Hell's Angels and the Montreal-based Rock Machine are interested in taking over the Deschamps turf. Was the evidence suggesting that Michel killed his own father a plant by those two factions? Indications are that Jean believed his older son, Antoine, had been murdered in the Italian campaign during the war, and not killed in combat as reported. And there are rumors a priceless marble mask by Michaelangelo also vanished around the same time, never to be seen again and that one of Antoine's fellow combatants is now a wealthy recluse in Stowe.

Joe and his brand new Vermont Bureau of Investigation team, including Sam and Willy, set out to solve these riddles amid an increasingly dangerous political intrigue involving cops and crooks on both sides of the border.


Author Notes

Archer Mayor lives in Newfane, Vermont.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Detective Joe Gunther has left the Brattleboro Police Department to become field commander of the newly formed Vermont Bureau of Investigation. The VBI's role is to serve as a major-crimes unit for the state's many small police forces, but the realpolitik of law enforcement means that the state police see the new guys as interlopers. Success on their first case, therefore, is crucial, but the case is a doozy. A 50-year-old corpse is found frozen stiff on top of a mountain in Stowe. The stiff is so stiff that the feet appear to have broken off the body when the corpse was dropped from an airplane. Gunther's team quickly identifies the body as a Quebec crime boss who disappeared in 1947, but Gunther suspects he's being led by the nose. Fans of this series may be briefly disappointed by Gunther's departure from Brattleboro, which Mayor evoked so vividly in the earlier novels. But the broader turf serves only to energize what was already an outstanding series. Thomas Gaughan


Publisher's Weekly Review

A new appointment for police detective Joe Gunther of Brattleboro as field commander of the newly formed Vermont Bureau of Investigation gives his 11th appearance (following Occam's Razor) broader scope in this fine procedural series. Designed to be "a small, elite unit" composed of the cream from Vermont's 68 separate law enforcement agencies, the VBI exists only on paper until the frozen body of a hiker is found on Mt. Mansfield. The "hiker," Jean Deschamps of Sherbrooke, Quebec, turns out to be a very unusual homicide victim. His body appears to have been on iceÄliterallyÄsince his murder in 1947. Gunther quickly assembles his first ad hoc team, which includes old colleagues Sammie Martens and Willy Kunkle, as well as newcomers Paul Spraiger and Tom Shanklin. And since Deschamps was Canadian, liaison with Canadian law enforcement is also necessary. Deschamps was head of a notorious crime family in Sherbrooke until his unexplained disappearance in 1947. His reappearance threatens to disrupt a fragile peace between that family, now headed by Deschamps's son, Marcel, and the Sherbrooke Hells Angels. Combining fieldwork (including a dangerous mountainside search) and dogged digging, the team delves into ancient rivalries and murders with roots going back to WWII, but threatening to erupt into fresh violence. This is a thoroughly entertaining police proceduralÄimaginatively conceived and executed with the polish Mayor has honed over the life of the series. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved