A DreadfulWater Mystery - 1 : DreadfulWater (PB)

SKU: 9781443455374

Hartley Goodweather, Thomas King
A DreadfulWater Mystery
Grade Levels:
Eleven, Twelve, Adult Education, College, University
Cherokee, Multiple Nations
Book Type:
HarperCollins Canada
A DreadfulWater Mystery
Copyright Date:

Sale price$18.99


Dreadful Water is a mystery novel originally written by Thomas King under the pen name, Hartley GoodWeather, republished in 2017 with King as the author. After contributing several Native literary anthologies as well as novels and children's books, King has taken the plunge by writing a murder mystery set on an American reservation somewhere in the Northwest. The main character is a former California cop whose Cherokee ancestry is a minor point. With the name Thumps DreadfulWater, the author sets the tone for this light romp through reservation politics, casinos, unscrupulous computer programmers and an odd assortment of small-town American law enforcement. Thumps is now a photographer dabbling in so-called fine art photographer but who keeps food on the table by taking crime-scene photos for the local sheriff. One day Thumps is called to the rex's new casino/condo complex where the body of an Asian computer programmer is found. The computer company staff are working on installing the security system for the soon-to-be-opened casino/condo. With the death the tribal leader's son becomes the prime suspect. Thumps is called on to take the crime scene photos and also try to solve the mysterious death. While the story has an interesting assortment of characters, the issues involved in reservation politics about casinos are not fully developed. The story contains references to First Nations and clearly Canadian terminology despite the fact the rez is supposed to be American. For example the term reserve slips in several times along with band office. Nonetheless the non-descript cultural setting of the Native American community is mostly irrelevant. Mystery fans expecting Tony Hillerman or Thomas Perry will find only light summer reading in this first novel of a proposed series. Occasionally the author slips in mild obscenities that seem out of character to the overall dialogue. The mild satire and word play occasionally offer some humourous moments but these are limited and the result leaves the reader wondering if the next installment in the detecting career of Thumps DreafulWeather can deliver. This title is also available in hardcover.

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