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Wanda's Book Reviews

I am currently reading my way through a long list of science fiction and fantasy titles.  (http://www.npr.org/2011/08/07/138938145/science-fiction-and-fantasy-finalists if you are interested in the list).

A Matter of Malice / Thomas King

A Matter of Malice - Thomas King

When a TV producer asks Thumps to assist with an episode about a local woman from a wealthy family whose death was ruled “misadventure,” he is reluctant to get involved. Then the producer dies in the exact same manner, and Thumps finds himself solving two cases.

Can a reality TV show solve a cold case?

The crew of a true-crime reality TV show, Malice Aforethought, shows up in Chinook to do an episode about the death of Trudy Samuels. Trudy’s death had originally been ruled accidental, but with ratings in mind, one of the producers, Nina Maslow, wants to prove it was murder. And she wants Thumps to help. Thumps is reluctant to get involved until Nina dies in the exact same place and in the exact same way as Trudy. Are the two deaths related? Or are there two murderers on the loose in Chinook? Thumps uses Nina’s Malice Aforethought files to try to fit the pieces of the puzzle together, and in the process discovers that she had already started work on another case close to Thumps' heart: the Obsidian murders.
 

 

Sometimes it’s not a good idea to read two books in a series so close together. I put a hold on this book at my library right after finishing Cold Skies: A DreadfulWater Mystery and I regret nothing! Thumps DreadfulWater is an excellent character and King has created a wonderful supporting cast for him in the town of Chinook, Montana. 

A reality television film crew comes to Chinook to poke about in an old, unhealed case. Was it a murder? A suicide? Can anyone find out this many years later? Thumps is the man for the cold case and Sheriff Duke Hockney makes sure that he can’t escape the assignment. Really, all they have to do is engage the problem solving part of Thumps’ brain, and he is hooked until the thing is solved. Now, if only he would put that much effort into his own health!

I was a little disappointed to have the Freeway/Pops (cat and dog) storyline fade out of this book, but I guess it’s kind of like the advice not to act with children or animals….they kind of stole the show in the last book, but in a good way. Somehow I don’t think Freeway can be counted out of things entirely. Who knows what will happen after the next book? Freeway and Claire seem to have some similarities and Claire will be gone for a while too. Long enough for Thumps to take care of his unfinished business, perhaps?

I can hardly wait for the next installment The Obsidian Murders: A DreadfulWater Mystery next year. If we’re lucky, Mr. King won’t be done with Thumps at that point!