In a small North Dakota town in 1964, indexer Marjorie Trumaine investigates the alleged suicide of the local librarian, uncovering a web of secrets that puts her own life in jeopardy.
October 1964 just months after freelance indexer Marjorie Trumaine helped solve a series of murders in Dickinson, North Dakota, she is faced with another death that pulls her into an unwanted investigation. Calla Eltmore, the local librarian, is found dead at work and everyone considers it suicide. But Marjorie can't believe that Calla would be capable of doing such a thing.
Marjorie's suspicions are further aroused when she notices something amiss at Calla's wake, but the police seem uninterested in her observations.
Despite pressing job commitments and the burden of caring for a husband in declining health, Marjorie sets out to uncover the truth. What she finds is a labyrinth of secrets and threats from someone who will kill to keep these secrets hidden."
Following on from Sweazy’s See Also Murder which introduced indexer Marjorie Truman, See Also Deception brings another case and more heartache for Marjorie. Her best friend, librarian Calla Eltmore has inexplicably committed suicide – or has she?
Another enjoyable and satisfying read. I did like the first with slight reservations, second time around I had no such qualms.
Marjorie has it tough. It’s the mid-60s in rural North Dakota and after her husband’s paralysis following a hunting accident Marjorie is trying to care for him, keep the family farm afloat, as well as contend with the pressures from her New York editor for her to meet her indexing deadlines.
There’s still time to comfort Calla’s friend, Herbert – the war-damaged library janitor and rumour has it – Calla’s secret beau. Time to take an instant dislike to the temporary replacement at the library – Delia Finch. Time to fret over her deceased neighbours’ son, Jaeger Knudson and his romance with Betty Walsh – she of the twenty five cent perfume!
Time to start asking a few awkward questions herself, after the police won’t take action on the anomaly she’s noticed when viewing Calla at the funeral home. Time to wonder who was it she bumped into, fleeing the library in a panic when she arrived there. Time to become jealous of Betty when she finds her joking with her bed-stricken husband conspiratorially, whilst she minds him.
Time to put herself and Hank in danger when the police eventually take notice and reluctantly start an investigation. Time to worry when she discovers all four of her truck tyres have been slashed and her phone line’s been cut!
Great sense of time and place. Sweazy brings to life the isolation of Marjorie’s out-of-town farm as well as the struggle to maintain it and endure the vagaries of the seasons and the fears of crop failure and economic reality.
Great sense of small community – the gossiping, the listening in on the party phone lines, the town rumour factory, the neighbourliness, the frowning at the lady entering the bar or smoking in public.
Great main character – Marjorie – a 60s Superwoman – headstrong, determined, loyal, brave and admirable.
Not everyone’s a fan of the amateur sleuth, but I enjoyed it and think it’s well worth a read.
4 from 5
See Also Murder was reviewed here.
Larry D. Sweazy has his website here.
Thanks to the publisher Seventh Street Books for the copy of this one.
Read in May, 2016.