Red Herring Review
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In Archer Mayor’s Red Herring, Agent Joe Gunther and the VBI (Vermont Bureau of Investigation) are back for one of their most puzzling cases to date.

Doreen Ferenc turns up dead in her home, and it appears as if she might have been raped, but it all looks too staged to Joe. Also, a small spot of blood found on the body doesn’t seem to fit. Later, two more victims—one appearing to be suicide and the other supposedly a car wreck in which alcohol was involved—turn up with the same dot of blood. But none of the victims seem to be connected to each other.

In addition to trying to solve a baffling case, Joe also has to deal with his ex-girlfriend, Gail Zigman, who’s running for office. Joe prefers to stay out of politics, but his past association with Gail keeps roping him in, causing insecurity in his new relationship with Lyn Silva. The best he can do is to keep his head down and try to bring in a killer whose methods make little to no sense.

Once again, Archer Mayor brings readers an impenetrable police procedural that baffles the mind. With just a hint of personal drama, Red Herring will keep you close to the characters as the mystery makes you shudder. It will also bring out the amateur detective in you as you try to puzzle out the clues in this bizarre crime.

Joe Gunther is a straightforward agent who doesn’t like to make waves and who prefers to stay out of the limelight. But he’s surrounded by agents who color his life with their eccentric personalities—from the maverick Willy Kunkle, who solves crimes in his own unconventional way, to Sammie Martens, who adds her own brand of toughness as she and her fellow agents are getting to the bottom of the case. However, all of them complement the team, and they get the job done when no one else would be able to.

Methodical and gripping, Red Herring is one of the finest crime novels I’ve had the pleasure of reading—and I hope to look forward to reading many more from author Archer Mayor in the future.

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