Loot the Moon
Review: Former investigative reporter, now a writer of obituaries, Billy Povich is asked by his old friend Martin Smothers to look into the murder of a judge in Loot the Moon, the second mystery in this series by Mark Arsenault.
Smothers is known to his colleagues as the "Patron Lawyer of Hopeless Causes". Says something about the case he hires Billy to investigate. Superior Court Judge Gilbert Harmony was, according to official police documents, killed when he interrupted a thief in an attempted robbery of his home. The thief didn't get away, though; he was killed in a car crash during his escape. Smothers doesn't believe it, though. A small time crook wouldn't risk killing a judge. His theory is that someone paid the thief to do it. When Billy begins his investigation, he immediately comes across more than one person who would have a strong motive for murder. There is a mobster who threatened the judge when he imposed a very stiff sentence on his son, the judge's alcoholic brother who lived in Harmony's shadow and is jealous of his accomplishments and lifestyle, and, of course, Harmony's wife, who had recently found out about his mistress and condo in New York City. Any of these people would have ample money to hire a hit-man … but did they?
The mystery plot of Loot the Moon is well developed, but what elevates the story above a mere whodunit is the character of Billy Povich. Three generations of men live in his small house. Billy's father is on dialysis three days a week to keep him alive, but he wants to quit. He just wants to die. Billy is also a single father to his son Bo since the death of his ex-wife. He wants to do right by his father, but also set an example for his son. His situation becomes infinitely more complex when, during an investigation that zeroes in on the truth, a killer sets his sights on his family.
Arsenault blends the right amount of suspense, compassion, humor, investigative prowess and deductive reasoning into Loot the Moon, a book that can simply be described as a first-rate mystery.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Loot the Moon.
Acknowledgment: Minotaur Books provided a copy of Loot the Moon for this review.
Review Copyright © 2009 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Minotaur Books (Hardcover), November 2006
ISBN-13: 9780312335960; ISBN-10: 0312335962
Location(s) referenced in Loot the Moon: Providence, Rhode Island
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Loot the Moon by Mark Arsenault — A Billy Povich Mystery
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publication Date: October 2009
List Price: $24.99
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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