Kirkus Reviews QR Code


by Joseph Hansen

Pub Date: June 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-670-84942-1
Publisher: Viking

 Having concluded his Dave Brandstetter mysteries with A Country of Old Men, Hansen comes up with a second collection of stories featuring Madrone, California, ex-sheriff Hack Bohannon (following Bohannon's Book, 1988)--the title of which is especially apt, since Hack makes only a cameo appearance in one of the five stories and never turns up in a second at all. Even when Bohannon's called on to solve a mystery--finding a missing treasure in ``The Olcutt Nostrum,'' solving the murder of an unwanted heir in ``An Excuse for Shooting Earl''--the dominant note is the characters' matter-of-fact compassion, or lack thereof, for the land and each other. Not much mystery here, then--these are stories about a detective, his intimates (his traumatized wife Linda, his grizzled buddy George Stubbs, his sometime female companion T. Hodges), and the all-too-human criminals who come across as warmly as their nemesis.