- Review by Event Staffer and Mystery Enthusiast Meike Alana
Larry D. Sweazy’s latest Marjorie Trumaine mystery, See Also Deception, is an atmospheric tale of small-town secrets with a retro feel that is a solid entry in the series.
Marjorie Trumaine is a North Dakota farmwife who took up indexing as a way to make ends meet during the tougher crop seasons—a job that has taken on much more significance since her husband Hank was blinded and paralyzed in a hunting accident some time ago. She often calls on the local librarian, Calla Eltmore, for informational assistance in the completion of her indexing duties. When Calla is found dead at work, due to an apparent suicide, Marjorie has trouble believing that Calla would have killed herself. Her suspicions are further aroused when she notices something odd at Calla’s wake, but the police don’t seem to take her concern seriously. Marjorie sets out to learn more, all while taking care of the ailing Hank. The web of secrets she begins to unravel turn ever more threatening when it becomes apparent that someone may be willing to kill to keep those secrets hidden.
Marjorie is a fascinating character who I’ve come to admire deeply in my two literary outings with her. We see in flashbacks that she and Hank had a charmed romance—he is the only man she has ever loved, and loved deeply, ever since she first set eyes on him in grade school. Yet she isn’t bitter or self-pitying about their changed circumstances—she accepts full responsibility for his considerable care, and his well-being is always at the forefront of her mind. Life on a North Dakota farm in the 1960’s can be deeply isolating—Marjorie feels like “the only person in the world, stranded and alone on a planet of my own making”–but the loneliness suits Marjorie and her private nature. The descriptions of the vast plains and the unrelenting wind are where Sweazy’s prose truly excels.
Larry D. Sweazy is the author of See Also Murder (the first Marjorie Trumaine novel); last year’s A Thousand Falling Crows (a stand-alone thriller set in dust-bowl era Texas); and nine other novels. He has published over sixty non-fiction articles and short stories, many of which have won or been nominated for awards. His is a unique voice in the genre.
You can find copies of See Also Deception on our shelves and via bookpeople.com.