Review: Boston attorney Brady Coyne leads the quiet life of a divorced man, handling relatively simple cases for friends and long-time clients. But all that changes when an old friend, Ken Nichols, a veterinarian who once treated Brady's pets and who now lives in Baltimore, comes to town to attend a convention, calls Brady to meet him at his hotel to catch up on the ten years that have passed since they last met, in Outwitting Trolls, the 25th mystery (and last) in this series by William G. Tapply (who died in 2009).
Less than 24 hours after their brief get-together, however, Ken was dead. Brady receives a frantic phone call from Ken's ex-wife, Sharon, telling him she found Ken murdered in his hotel room, blood everywhere. Telling her to call 9-1-1 but remain in the room and not to touch anything, Brady rushes over to the hotel only to find Sharon alone in the room; she hadn't called the police. Brady immediately calls the police, but now Sharon, who would already be a prime suspect, now looks to be the guilty party. Brady takes on Sharon as a client but doesn't believe — or more accurately, doesn't want to believe — she had anything to do with Ken's death, and begins to look elsewhere. "Follow the money" has always been sound advice, and he does just that … only to learn Ken was a gambler and deeply in debt. To complicate matters, other misfortunes start to befall the family, affecting Sharon and her two children and Ken's aging father, who resides in a senior citizen's home two hours away.
The intricate plot of Outwitting Trolls is one of misdirection, deception and lies, and well suited to the investigative approach taken by Brady Coyne that relies far more on deductive reasoning than action. A subplot — one that recurs through many books in the series — involves Brady's family and the choices he's made over the years. It's touching in a retrospective sort of way. Still, the focus here is on identifying a killer and it's a strong intellectual exercise for both Brady and the reader.
Brady Coyne is one of the most likeable characters in crime fiction; he (and his creator) will be missed.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Outwitting Trolls.
Acknowledgment: Minotaur Books provided a copy of Outwitting Trolls for this review.
Review Copyright © 2010 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Minotaur Books (Hardcover), September 2009
ISBN-13: 9780312379780; ISBN-10: 0312379781
Location(s) referenced in Outwitting Trolls: Boston, Massachusetts
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Outwitting Trolls by William G. Tapply — A Brady Coyne Mystery
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publication Date: November 2010
List Price: $24.99
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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