Hallie's Reviews > Outwitting Trolls

Outwitting Trolls by William G. Tapply
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Jan 27, 11

really liked it
Read in December, 2010

Reading William G. Tapply’s 25th Brady Coyne novel, “Outwitting Trolls,” the last one written before his death last year, provides a potent reminder of how much the tall, gentle guy with a passion for the outdoors, fishing, dogs, and for the women in his life will be missed.

It opens in tried and true mystery fashion with Brady sharing drinks in a hotel bar with an old friend. He hasn’t seen Ken Nichols since Ken divorced his wife, Sharon, closed his veterinarian practice, and moved to Baltimore ten years earlier. Sketched in a few vibrant brush strokes (“Ken had big ears and a meandering nose and a mouth that was a little too wide for his face. He grinned easily, he loved animals”), Ken is on the page, back in town for a conference, and clearly in some kind of trouble.

He and Brady part ways, agreeing to keep in touch, but of course that is not to be. Soon Brady gets a call from Ken’s ex-wife, calling from a room in the same hotel as the bar. She needs a lawyer, she says. Ken is there in the room with her and he’s been stabbed to death.

The storytelling feels effortless, and Tapply braids the story of Brady’s own prickly family relationships with a murder that might involve unfinished family business. The ending ties together the disparate pieces and leaves Brady in a “a good place,” as it will the reader.

So pull up an Adirondack chair on the back porch of Brady Coyne’s Beacon Hill townhouse, crack open one last Sam Adams or pour yourself a shot of Jack Daniels, and enjoy the sun setting with a great mystery writer, in fine form up to the end.
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