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The Surrogate Thief (Joe Gunther #15)

3.91  ·  Rating Details ·  452 Ratings  ·  31 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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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
Aug 17, 2008 Mike rated it really liked it
A fun read. I don't read many mystery books, but this was a fine one. My hero is the constable from Putney.
Oct 02, 2008 Tony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Kate rated it liked it
Feb 01, 2009
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

Apr 21, 2009 Janet rated it really liked it
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.
Susan E
Susan E rated it liked it
Jun 16, 2009
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.
Patty rated it really liked it
Sep 18, 2009
Dec 10, 2009 Robyn rated it it was ok
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
Jan 02, 2010 Jonathan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: vermont, mystery, fiction
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
Sep 14, 2011 Anne rated it it was amazing
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.
Richard Thompson
Sep 06, 2014 Richard Thompson rated it really liked it
I picked this book up more or less at random from among the Archer Mayor books on offer at the Public Library to read as part of my Bump Memorial Library research. (I have been rereading sample books from a number of mystery writers whose series we/I have enjoyed in the past — and, in some cases, am still enjoying — to decide whether I should include a "delegate" copy from the series in the BML.)

Glancing at the liner notes, I thought that I had missed this Joe Gunther outing, but — no — we had
Faith Weldon
Oct 16, 2011 Faith Weldon rated it really liked it

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.
Cecil Ann
Cecil Ann rated it it was amazing
Jan 20, 2012
Jeff Dickison
Feb 22, 2012 Jeff Dickison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!
Donna rated it liked it
Apr 16, 2012
Mandy Huot
Aug 25, 2012 Mandy Huot rated it liked it
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".
Aug 14, 2012 Winifred rated it really liked it
All Archer Mayor's Joe Gunther series mystery books are page turners. As soon as I finished one I began another.
Steve Clark
Jan 09, 2013 Steve Clark rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 14, 2013 Claudia rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 29, 2013 Richard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mar 06, 2014 Joe rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-thriller
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
Kai Palchikoff
The latest installment in the classic Joe Gunther series finds the Vermont detective on his most personal and dangerous case yet.
Jun 23, 2015 Liz rated it really liked it
Another good book in the Joe Gunther series. In addition to the mystery, this one does a good job of exploring running for a state political office. The author continues to flesh out the characters.
Feb 08, 2015 Kay rated it it was amazing
If you admire Joe Gunther, you have to read this particular entry in the series. As he suddenly has to revisit a 30-year-old case that he failed to solve, Joe confronts all the sorrows and demons from his past.
Mar 18, 2016 Bruce rated it it was amazing
This is the fifteenth Joe Gunther novel I have read. I have enjoyed them all. For some reason, this one was just better. Can't put my finger on it, but I loved this book!
Mike Curkov
Mike Curkov rated it really liked it
Nov 30, 2015
Dan Grignon
Apr 04, 2016 Dan Grignon rated it it was amazing
First I've heard of Joe Gunther... a series I could enjoy. Time to start looking for the first in this series.
Laurie Murray
Laurie Murray rated it really liked it
Aug 23, 2016
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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
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Joe Gunther (1 - 10 of 27 books)
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