GoodWeather, a.k.a. novelist Thomas King (Truth and Bright Water, 2000, etc.), debuts with a droll comedy of murder on a reservation overrun with developers, technocrats, and Native American goofballs.
Buffalo Mountain Resort’s Cataract condominium model comes with no view, one bedroom, and, if you play your cards right, a corpse in an easy chair. The interloper is Genesis Systems computer programmer Daniel Takashi; the natural suspect is Stanley (Stick) Merchant, missing activist who would’ve loved to sabotage the system Genesis planned to install in the new casino he so bitterly opposed; and the detective deputized to keep Stick out of harm’s way is Thumps DreadfulWater, sometime lover of Stick’s mother Claire, the band council head who’d fought everybody, including her son, for the casino. Once a cop back in Eureka, Thumps has come to Chinook to peddle his art photos and forget the trauma that drove him off the force, and he does such a fine job that despite facing a rising body count and getting asked a lot of questions he’d rather not answer, he makes his first case a deadpan delight, studded with characters who really are characters, from Sheriff Duke Hockney, whose face resembles “a bowl of remorseful oatmeal,” to donut baker Morris Dumbo, “a social garbage can on legs.”
Even armchair sleuths who can see the solution from a mile away will appreciate GoodWeather’s unerring knack for converting social, racial, and economic conflict into blissful farce.