The Second Mouse

By Archer Mayor (Mass Market, 2007)
Intriguing plots, complex characters, and a landscape come to life are mainstays of Archer Mayor's New England thrillers. With a gift for vivid writing, he has made "an honorable art form of the regional mystery," according to the New York Times Book Review. Now in a suspenseful new novel, Mayor's popular sleuth Joe Gunther faces one of the most baffling cases of his career.

A legend among Vermont cops, Joe Gunther has solved more local whodunits than a whole squad of detectives. But his latest case takes him and his team off their Brattleboro home turf, forty-two miles west, to chip-on-its-shoulder, blue-collar Bennington.

On the edge of town, Gunther encounters the lifeless body of Michelle Fisher. Her corpse, pale and seemingly at peace, offers him no clues about who she was or how she died. There are no signs of violence, no disorder. Snapshots and postcards show a woman who laughed hard and lived harder. Yet diaries reveal a rootless life marred by depression and drink. Suicide seems a reasonable conclusion, but Gunther suspects foul play. The house is for sale, after all, and Michelle was its only tenant-one who resisted all efforts to have her evicted. The unsavory landlord is a prime suspect, but is safely equipped with an impressively air-tight alibi.

Now to uncover the truth about the fate of this discarded, all but forgotten woman, Gunther must follow a confusing trail of half leads and mounting crimes. He draws near to a violent and careless trio of criminals, whose leader is hell-bent on making the career move of a lifetime-and willing to step on anyone who might get in his way.

Intriguing plots, complex characters, and a landscape come to life are mainstays of Archer Mayor's New England thrillers. With a gift for vivid writing, he has made "an honorable art form of the regional mystery," according to the New York Times Book Review. Now in a suspenseful new novel, Mayor's popular sleuth Joe Gunther faces one of the most baffling cases of his career.

A legend among Vermont cops, Joe Gunther has solved more local whodunits than a whole squad of detectives. But his latest case takes him and his team off their Brattleboro home turf, forty-two miles west, to chip-on-its-shoulder, blue-collar Bennington.

On the edge of town, Gunther encounters the lifeless body of Michelle Fisher. Her corpse, pale and seemingly at peace, offers him no clues about who she was or how she died. There are no signs of violence, no disorder. Snapshots and postcards show a woman who laughed hard and lived harder. Yet diaries reveal a rootless life marred by depression and drink. Suicide seems a reasonable conclusion, but Gunther suspects foul play. The house is for sale, after all, and Michelle was its only tenant-one who resisted all efforts to have her evicted. The unsavory landlord is a prime suspect, but is safely equipped with an impressively air-tight alibi.

Now to uncover the truth about the fate of this discarded, all but forgotten woman, Gunther must follow a confusing trail of half leads and mounting crimes. He draws near to a violent and careless trio of criminals, whose leader is hell-bent on making the career move of a lifetime-and willing to step on anyone who might get in his way.

Archer Mayor lives in Newfane, Vermont. He writes full-time and volunteers as a firefighter/EMT. He is also a death investigator for the state's medical examiner, and a part-time police officer for the Bellows Falls Police Department. Mayor has lived all over the U.S., Canada, and Europe, and has been variously employed as a scholarly editor, a researcher for TIME-LIFE Books, a political advance man, a theater photographer, a newspaper writer/editor, and a medical illustrator. In addition to his Joe Gunther series, he has written short stories, two books on American history, and many articles. You can learn more about Mayor at www.archermayor.com
  • "Archer Mayor's unassuming voice and down-to-earth style stamp his regional crime novels with a sense of integrity." (Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review).

  • "Mayor's skills are equal to the vigor of his imagination, and we take his word for every twist, every turn, every thunderbolt." (The New Yorker).

  • "Mayor's Joe Gunther novels are among the best cop stories being written today." (Booklist).

  • "The strength of this durable series has always been its insularity: local settings; sharp small-town characterizations; home-grown police procedures." (Kirkus).

  • "The writing is strong, with sharp social observations throughout?.Gunther grows on you from novel to novel." (Washington Post Book World).

Product Details

The Second Mouse
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Price: $19.50 US/$24.99 CAN
  • Pages: 336
  • Physical Dimensions: 4-3/16" x 6-3/4"
  • Audio Run Time: 0
  • ISBN-13: 9780446618144
  • On Sale Date: 10/01/2007
The Second Mouse