A Mike Bowditch Mystery by Paul Doiron
Review: After Maine game warden Mike Bowditch finds several shot moose on the gated estate of Elizabeth Morse, he's essentially reassigned off the case by his superior, Lt. Marc Rivard, who realizes this is a career-making crime involving a controversial resident of the state. But Bowditch's instincts tell him Rivard is looking in all the wrong places, and pursues a parallel line of investigation, in Massacre Pond, the fourth mystery in this series by Paul Doiron.
Elizabeth Morse — "Queen Elizabeth" to her detractors, of which there are many — had her start making herbal remedies as a hippie of the 1960s and made a fortune from them when her company was purchased for nearly $500 million decades later. Snapping up 100,000 acres of forest land with the profits, she has banned all logging operations as well as hunting and fishing and any other recreational activity on the property, and intends to will the estate to the Federal government upon her death to create a national park. In a region that depends on the land for its economy, this decision comes down hard on many residents of the region, especially those that lost their jobs as a result. She thinks the dead moose are a warning; Bowditch isn't so sure. And as unsure as he is about the case, he's really puzzled by the sudden change in his good friend Billy Cronk, Morse's driver, handyman, forester, and personal bodyguard.
Massacre Pond is a superior mystery, from its riveting and rapidly moving storyline to its nearly nonstop action, which takes place over just a couple of days. The suspects are many and diverse — maybe just a few too many and maybe just a couple too obvious in a red herring sort of way — and are all given credible reasons for threatening, and carrying through on their threats to, Elizabeth Morse. The Maine environs are inviting and realistically depicted, and Mike Bowditch is a terrific series lead, conflicted (as many are) but not debilitated by it, dealing with his issues in a positive, pro-active manner. Two relatively minor quibbles when all is said and done: the body count seems unnecessarily excessive and a number of key plot points are left unresolved at the end. This is an exceptionally well executed series to date, and Massacre Pond a fine entry in it.
Acknowledgment: Minotaur Books provided a copy of Massacre Pond for this review.
Review Copyright © 2013 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Bad Little Falls
Minotaur Books (Hardcover), August 2012
ISBN-13: 9780312558482; ISBN-10: 0312558481
Location(s) referenced in Massacre Pond: Maine
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Massacre Pond by Paul Doiron — A Mike Bowditch Mystery
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publication Date: July 2013
List Price: $24.99
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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