Mysterious Reviews Home

Three Can Keep a Secret

A Joe Gunther Mystery by Archer Mayor

Three Can Keep a Secret by Archer Mayor

Review: It is late Summer of 2011 and Hurricane Irene has ravaged areas of Vermont. Rivers are rising causing flooding of roads, homes and buildings. With lines down, electricity is out as well as phone service. The state has become a disaster area. Joe Gunther and his team are called into action to help the state's overworked and strained police forces. When a mental health facility was being evacuated, an aging woman who has called herself "the Governor" walked out of the building oblivious to persons in charge. She had been an patient there for at least forty years and now she has disappeared. When the rising waters ravaged a cemetery a casket was unearthed and broken open. It was filled with stones — not a body. Soon afterwards, a retired state politician living in an upscale retirement home is found dead, presumably of natural causes. When Gunther goes to investigate the death, he feels there is reason to suspect something more than just a heart attack or old age in Three Can Keep a Secret, the 24th mystery in this series by Archer Mayor.

Gunther first discovers that "The Governor", who was once honored as "Governor for a Day", may still have ties to local politics. Why she was committed to the institution and held there, possibly against her will, for all these years is unknown. Next he determines the identity of the young man, whose body was supposed to be on the unearthed coffin. But how rocks came to replace the body is also unknown. And then there's Gunther's hunch that the elderly man found dead in his retirement home room may have been murdered. There's nothing to connect the three cases … or is there?

This is a multi-faceted mystery, the intersecting plotlines of which make for a complex investigation for Joe Gunther. And while the Gunther looks into the three cases, which do come together in a credible, really quite unexpected manner, Vermont is slowly recovering. The descriptions of the mountains, valleys and rivers of the state make for an impressive backdrop to the proceedings. Not everything is cleanly wrapped up in the end, which in the context of how events play out seems perfectly reasonable, even satisfying. A fine entry in this series.

Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Three Can Keep a Secret.

Acknowledgment: Minotaur Books provided a copy of Three Can Keep a Secret for this review.

Review Copyright © 2013 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved

Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …

Mystery Book Review: Red Herring by Archer MayorRed Herring
Minotaur Books (Hardcover), September 2010
ISBN-13: 9780312381936; ISBN-10: 031238193X

Location(s) referenced in Three Can Keep a Secret: Vermont

— ♦ —

Three Can Keep a Secret by Archer Mayor

Three Can Keep a Secret by A Joe Gunther Mystery

Publisher: Minotaur Books
Format: Hardcover
ISBN-13: 978-1-250-02613-2
Publication Date:
List Price: $25.99

Buy the Book (purchase options)

— ♦ —

Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews

Mysterious Reviews is a Division of
The Hidden Staircase Mystery Books
and a Business Unit of the
Omnimystery Family of Mystery Websites