DEAD MEAT by William G. Tapply
Kirkus Star


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The doings of Boston Brahmins have given spiffy touches-of-class to Tapply's previous outings for obliging rich-folk's-lawyer Brady Coyne--but this fifth adventure, perhaps his best, takes likable Brady to remote Raven Lake Lodge, a posh but rustic fishing resort way up in Maine, near the Canadian border. Initially, Brady's interested in doing some salmon fishing--and in reassuring Tiny Wheeler, the Lodge's owner/manager (an old pal), about new Indian lawsuits that claim Raven Lake as ancestral property. But he's soon playing sleuth again when troubles escalate: first a Lodge guest disappears; then the guest's brother, arriving to join the search party, is found dead in the lake--scalped. Is ancient Indian guide Woody the culprit? (The two men had quarreled.) Brady doesn't think so--and wonders about other motives and suspects, including Tiny's sexpot-teen daughter, Tiny's taciturn staff. . .and Tiny himself. And things get clearer--and a whole lot more dangerous (ambushes galore)--once Brady discovers that the two doomed ""brothers"" were really incognito US marshals. The plot here, in fact, is only slightly better than routine. But Tapply has marbled it so expertly with other elements--the lusciously inviting Lodge locale. Brady's nuanced relationships with Tiny's family (especially lonely wife Marge) and staff--that this becomes crisp, fresh outdoors action-adventure with an unusually warm, thoroughly charming undertow.

Pub Date: March 23rd, 1987
Publisher: Scribners