In mystery writing--as in all fiction writing--when you pull apart the hardcover buns, there should be a sizeable slab of conflict inside. Sure, depending on how the author or readers like it, condiments such as plot, characterization, and blah, blah, blah, can be added to enhance taste. But conflict is the "beef" of all fiction. Harold Adams' book has small meat.
The writing is tight, the history and scenic descriptions accurate and well-done, but everyone gets along. A stranger dies in the beginning, but no one is ever threatened again. The protagonist gets along with his wife, the local cops, the local residents, even the suspects. What's the point? There's no urgency. I only turned the pages out of curiosity to find out when something good might start happening. It didn't.
Okay. I'm exaggerating. The book is not that bad. Give it three stars. Lovers of pure whodunits may give it four. But for me this was no Whopper. --Christopher Bonn Jonnes, author of Wake Up Dead.