The always-redoubtable Archer Mayor offers his 21st police procedural featuring Joe Gunther, who now heads the Vermont Bureau of Investigation, and it could well be the best in this outstanding series. There is no apparent motive in the slaying of 54-year-old Doreen Ferenc, a spinster who combines seemingly tame hobbies with twice-daily visits to her mother, who is confined to a nursing home. She does have ties to McNaughton Trucking Co., where she worked as executive secretary for many years to both the patriarch of the firm and his obnoxious son who inherited the business.
Gunther and his entertaining team of detectives are examining that link when more apparently motive-less murders are discovered. The one clue found at each scene is a lone drop of blood, not matching each other or the victims.
Meanwhile, Gunther is nurturing his new relationship with tavern owner Lyn Silva while his ex-flame, Gail Zigman, runs for governor in a campaign that soon turns nasty over the issue of police invading the privacy of citizens.
Mayor combines superb plotting with stellar characters in a complex tale wrapped up with the author’s usual expertise. The reader will never see the ending coming. Promise.