THE COAL BLACK ASPHALT TOMB by David Handler

THE COAL BLACK ASPHALT TOMB

KIRKUS REVIEW

A determined cop and the man in her life take on an old murder in their quaint New England town.

Master Sgt. Desiree Mitry and her lover, Jewish film critic Mitch Berger, are both outsiders among the country clubbers whose family homes date back three centuries in Dorset, Conn. Not only is Des the sole woman of color in this WASP paradise, but she’s 6 feet 1 inch tall and, since her demotion from lieutenant, the lone Resident Trooper in Dorset. Another unconventional figure in town is Glynis Fairchild-Forniaux, recently elected first selectwoman. Even though Glynis belongs to Dorset’s elite, she had a tough battle against Bob Paffin, who led the town for 34 years. Now her pet project of repaving Dorset Street is facing obstruction from tree huggers, the editor/publisher of the Gazette and a skeleton buried under the asphalt. Tatters of a naval uniform, a pair of gold wings and a distinctive watch suggest the body belongs to Bob’s older brother Lance, a Navy flier who disappeared after a dance at the country club 47 years ago. Des' father, the deputy superintendent of the Connecticut State Police popularly known as the Deacon, wants her to handle the case with kid gloves, especially when it comes to congressman Pennington Lucas Cahoon. Although the Dorset gentry closes ranks, Des won’t stop asking questions, especially once she and Mitch discover the late Navy flyboy wasn’t quite as heroic as he seemed. An attempted suicide, an eager young reporter and a clue tied to a family burial ground lead to an old secret—and the risk of a new murder.

Berger and Mitry’s 10th case (The Snow White Christmas Cookie, 2012, etc.), set in a model old New England town, has an enjoyably twisty plot. The lead couple, despite the occasional descent into cuteness, is still more palatable than most of the starchy suspects.

Pub Date: March 25th, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-250-04197-5
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Minotaur
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2014




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