The Surrogate Thief  (Joe Gunther #15)
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The Surrogate Thief (Joe Gunther #15)

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  293 ratings  ·  23 reviews
In present-day Vermont, a woman kills her ex-husband with an old, second-hand gun that turns out to have a history with Detective Joe Gunther. Thirty-two years earlier, as Joe and his wife Ellen struggled with her terminal bout of cancer, local store owner Klaus Oberfeldt was robbed and beaten to death by a local thief using that same gun. Overwhelmed by Ellen’s illness, J...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published October 1st 2005 by Grand Central Publishing (first published 2004)
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Oh so much promise! Yet oh so disappointing! Here's why. We never meet the bad guy! The premise of this novel in Mayor's Joe Gunther series is that elements of a modern crime dredge up a 30-year old case for Gunther. He and his team then solve an old cold case as well as handle current crimes related to that cold case.

As the solution unfolds, the reader finds out who's responsible for the old crime. We "meet" this criminal in only a single scene in which the bad guy says nothing. Mayor, in fact...more
Joe V
This is the 15th adventure of Joe Gunther - a "middle-aged" Vermont police detective. The Gunther books are straightforward police procedurals with a strong supporting cast; Joe a very likeable protagonist. When a domestic dispute turns deadly, our hero finds himself dealing with a 32-year old cold case when the current weapon is traced back to a robbery/murder Joe didn't solve early in his career. This trip down memory lane is a painful one for our hero as the original case coincided with the d...more
Archer Mayor is a Vermont author I hadn't read until now. Brattleboro--Yeah! It was fun reading references to places I've been in the state. I like that the main character, Joe Gunther, is just an ordinary guy AND a very good detective. The plot wasn't heart-thumpingly thrilling, but it was still engaging. I'm going to check out more in this series.
A fun read. I don't read many mystery books, but this was a fine one. My hero is the constable from Putney.
Mayor, Archer. THE SURROGATE THIEF. (2004). ****. This is another in Mayor’s Joe Gunther police procedural series. Joe is now the second in command of the VBI (Vermont Bureau of Investigation), the group that oversees and assists all of Vermont’s law enforcement officials. There’s an open case file on Gunther’s desk, a case that he had worked on thirty years earlier. At that time, store owner Klaus Oberfeldt was robbed and beaten senseless. When he died six months later, the case of assault and...more
Bookmarks Magazine

Set in Brattleboro, Vermont, The Surrogate Thief explores yet another facet of the life of Joe Gunther, head of the Vermont Bureau of Investigation. An unassuming, character-driven police procedural, the book asks difficult questions about how one deals with past demons when justice lies in the balance. If you're looking for a procedural full of serial killers, this isn't it. It's Vermont, after all, and Joe's a compassionate and introspective guy__perhaps too much so. A few critics complained a

THE SURROGATE THIEF (Police Procedural- Vermont/Massachusetts)- VG
Archer Mayor – 15th in series
Mysterious Press, 2004 – Hardcover
As a young detective, Joe Gunther investigated the murder of a local shop owner while dealing his wife’s losing battle with cancer. Now, 30 years later, the gun used in that murder has resurfaced giving Joe the opportunity of solving the case, and looking at his relationship with his long-term relationship with his current love, Gail.
*** More introspective then previou...more
The Joe Gunther (now there’s a name that fits the place) series of detective stories is set in Vermont. Yes, my former home state has made it onto the shelves of the Multnomah County Library. A thoroughly enjoyable murder mystery, this is brilliant literature of place. It is not brilliant literature, but neither is Vermont. Not only does Mayor give spot-on descriptions of Vermont and capture the culture, people, and places, but the style of writing is Vermont, too. Unpretentious. To the point. I...more
No comment!
Steve Clark
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Well-plotted and complex, but not to the point of being difficult to follow. Strong Vermont setting, as usual. Perhaps a bit much of supporting characters doing their shtick, but overall, one of the better "Joe Gunther" mysteries.
Faith Weldon

Archer Mayor never disappoints. Reading The Surrogate Thief is a return to Vermont, its towns, its roads, its countryside, its small town police and politics. The plot in this particular mystery was a little overly complicated.
Jeff Dickison
Excellent Joe Gunther novel from Mayor. The first two chapters reach out and grab you. If you aren't interested after those chapters you're not a fan. This is one of Mayor's best. Recommended to readers of crime fiction!
Mandy Huot
Although I enjoyed this book, it definitely wasn't as good as others in his collection. For one thing, I was shocked that Joe wasn't injured in this one, as he usually is in others. It also seemed rather "boring".
Mystery genre. A decent book, but not great for me. The Vermont setting made it more intersting to me than it would have been otherwise. The characters did have some depth, not just 2-dimensional, which is a plus.
Good mystery -- well written, and involves some good personal stuff with Joe Gunther, detective, who is featured in most of his books. Politics, crime, history.
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All Archer Mayor's Joe Gunther series mystery books are page turners. As soon as I finished one I began another.
I agree with Robyn---so much promise, then it falls apart at the end.
Gail Arthur-Davis
It was very good. Had me guessing the outcome right to the end.
#15 in the Joe Gunther series .... best one yet.
Susan Hanberry
Vermont mystery. OK, but not a great read.
Turned into an ok story, a little slow at first
Emma marked it as to-read
Jul 19, 2014
Laura W
Laura W marked it as to-read
Jul 13, 2014
W added it
Jul 08, 2014
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Over the years, Archer Mayor has been photographer, teacher, historian, scholarly editor, feature writer, travel writer, lab technician, political advance man, medical illustrator, newspaper writer, history researcher, publications consultant, constable, and EMT/firefighter. He is also half Argentine, speaks two languages, and has lived in several countries on two continents.

All of which makes mak...more
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