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(Joe Gunther #2)

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  1,602 ratings  ·  106 reviews
Seconded to the States Attorneys office, Lt. Joe Gunther is in Vermonts Northeast Kingdom investigating a minor embezzling case. Its a pleasant distraction, and a chance to reconnect with old friends, but when a house fire reveals itself to be arson, compounded by murder, Gunther cant help but investigate. Suddenly, he finds himself enmeshed in a web of animosity between ...more
ebook, Joe Gunther Mysteries, 256 pages
Published November 8th 2011 by March Media (first published 1990)
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Average rating 3.88  · 
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 ·  1,602 ratings  ·  106 reviews

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Mar 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The second Mayor book featuring Joe Gunther. This one has an interesting premise as Gunther goes northeast to a small town where he spent time when he was young. He was sent on another case, but soon becomes involved in a dispute between townspeople and a sect that is secret and threatens the way of life in the town. I like Gunther. He is thoughtful and a good detective who respects people, but takes no guff. I really enjoy Mayor's writing, too.
Jun 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Archer Mayor is a new discovery for me and I am SO glad I stumbled across a couple of his books. This was the first that I read and it was fabulous. Since Mr. Mayor lives in Brattleboro, he makes Vermont come alive in a way that someone who doesn't would not be able to do. I have never been to Vermont, but I could vividly see the scenes in my mind.

This novel creates a mystifying mix of murders, each level becoming more complex - it is beautifully done and Joe Gunther is a terrific character -
Angie Boyter
Dec 18, 2013 rated it liked it
Just OK. Actually a bit disappointing. I got into the book nicely, but the last third or so didn't please me. There is a big suspenseful scene at the end in a quarry, but the whole layout was so complicated with ladders and ledges, etc., that I never quite understood it and therefore didn't get it.
Also some characters engaged in odd behavior that should have been explained but was not, e.g., a woman claimed she did not know when her husband left the house because she had taken Valium and was
Judy Lesley
Sep 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
I have recently discovered this series of police procedural novels written by Archer Mayor featuring the Vermont policeman Joe Gunther. I read the first book and thoroughly enjoyed the setting, the characters and the plotting. I decided to continue reading the books and was pleased to note that there were 29 books in the series with book 30 due out soon.

This second story has Joe Gunther leaving his primary work location of Brattleboro to travel to another area of Vermont on assignment for a
Carolyn (in SC) C234D
Im really enjoying this series. Good characters and story. I did wonder why you never found out more about Julie Wingates motherher role, the Valium question, etc. A complicated but interesting read. ...more
Harry Lane
Nov 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
A most worthy sequel. Mayor's strong characters and effective portrayal of the hardscrabble nature of the setting significantly enliven the story. There are a couple of interesting twists. One of them is that a central character, a young woman named Julie, is pivotal to the story, but is almost invisible. The second would be a spoiler if I told what it is; go read for yourself.
Sep 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun second outing for Joe Gunther. The writing is smooth and easy, and the plot flows really well. And it being set in Vermont is a definite plus. There's nothing quite like that, and I always get pumped when the setting plays an integral role in the story. A couple of things I saw coming that were meant to be a surprise, but that didn't bother me because it was such a good read. Looking forward to #3.
Jan 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Brattleboro, VT, police Lt. Joe Gunther, has traveled north to Vermont's Northeast Kingdom to assist the State's Attorney with an embezzlement case. Joe had spent many happy summers in this area when he was growing up so it is a good excuse to visit with some old friends as well. The small town of Gannet has undergone major changes since Joe was last there. Much of the original town is going to ruin while a lot of the houses and farmland have been purchased by the Natural Order, a group of ...more
Feb 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Archer Mayor is a gifted writer; his varied background/professions present many experiences to draw from. This is the second book in his Joe Gunther series, and I found it (generally) even better than the first one... until near the ending, when the story line got all tangled and nearly incomprehensible. I was sad about this, as I had to re-read several pages, trying to wrap my mind around (useless to me) location descriptions. First 4/5 of this novel, I was mesmerized by the ...more
On the high side of three stars. I once again enjoyed Mayor's main character, Joe Gunther,and the book's comfortable style of writing. It is always fun to explore a state (or country)you don't know well in a nicely written mystery and the setting in a remote area of Vermont was half the fun of this book. I was a little bothered by the build-up of numerous characters only to have them disappear from the book (or in one case never even appear.). The main issue I had with this book is just a ...more
Apr 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second book in the "Joe Gunther Series". I was so enthralled by "Open Season", his first book, I needed to see if it's follow-up would be as good. I was not disappoined. With intriguing plots but down to earth, small town, characters I find the stories suspenseful but realistic. With 21 books in the series, I have much more reading about Joe Gunther in my future.
Mar 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Another good book in the series. I thought this was a neat little mystery that also added a lot of depth to the central character. Like with many good mysteries, I thought I had figured this one out a couple of times only to be proven wrong every time. Good story and good characters in an interesting setting. I am looking forward to reading the next one.
Dec 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Unless you own a Kindle, you might not be familiar with this author. I only say this because Kindle offers a lot of his books at a discount rate at times, and you can even read many of them on the Kindle Unlimited program (these are a select group of titles that Kindle allows Amazon Subscribers to read for free 1 book per month).

This author has written a series of books that revolve around Detective Joe Gunther. Gunther resides in the Northeastern part of the United States. Im guessing hes
May 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Who would think to set a murder & mayhem series in Vermont? Mayor, that's who. And it works terrifically well. In this entry, Joe Gunther had to travel to one of his home towns (it was the summer place), initially for a relatively innocuous investigation. Of course, things don't stay innocuous. No. Not at all. There is what appears to be a religious cult that has, to a great extent, taken over the town. While no one is quite sure of their theology, it is clear that they live without modern ...more
Roberta Ward Walsh
Dec 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is the second book I have read in the Joe Gunther series. Having lived in Vermont for many years, I relate well to the settings, easily visualizing the towns described with an appreciation for the cultural quirkiness of the communities and characters. My job took me all around the state over a long period of time. On one project, I travelled often from Burlington to the Northeast Kingdom during winter months. The book brought back memories of navigating back roads and encounters with ...more
Jerry B
Jan 31, 2019 rated it liked it
Borderlines is the sophomore appearance of both Archer Mayor and his popular Vermont police protagonist Joe Gunther. In a foreword, the author attests to his difficulties writing this novel but even forewarned, we were again impressed with the clever plot, the pacing of the progress in the case, and the ample suspense and reading enjoyment delivered!

When a distraught father tries to rescue his young adult daughter from a northeast Vermont cult, a suspicious fire causing five deaths, and then
Susan Miller
Jul 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
What isn't to like about a mystery in the north country.
A great tale that meanders from Bratleboro to the North East Kingdom of Vermont. There is a cult that has moved into the hills of Gannett Vermont a small northern town. Parents of a wayward daughter find themselves in the town looking for their daughter.

Joe Gunther is temporarily assigned from Barattleboro to the local States Attorneys office. He has family in the area he was hoping to catch up with when he gets caught up in a murder
Sep 04, 2017 rated it liked it
After reading the 600+ John Adams biography, I went for a lighter read. This was a pretty standard police procedural. I liked this book better than the first one in the series. I might have given it four stars except for the unbelievable final scene. I didn't buy any of it.

If you enjoy these types of books, you'll enjoy this one even if like me, you are frequently disappointed in the ending. The main character is likable. He is a widower (read that before) but he isn't an alcoholic and except
Joe King
Feb 05, 2018 rated it liked it
A solid three stars. I've started reading the series as I am looking for another character get into long term (I like series better than one offs) and this is pretty good. What I like most about the character is he is heroic without being superman. He often makes mistakes and is afraid in fearful situations which makes him much more human than someone like Spenser or Reacher. Anyway, this one was good enough to get me to read the third one. I will add that in both these stories the cast of ...more
Mar 26, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, religious
Joe Gunther takes a break from his job and his life, including his lady friend, to travel back to an idyllic childhood. Unfortunately he stumbles right into a case, where arson and murder hold sway. Over the few days he is there he manages to alienate everyone and everyone, from friends to family, but finds out whodunnit.

*maybe adding more later*
Aug 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle, mystery, 2017-read
The writing is very good. The Vermont setting is wonderful. Overall, I liked this story better than first book in the Joe Gunther series. This book centers on crimes related to a back to basics commune type cult that has established itself in the Northern Kingdom of Vermont.
The rating book on this could be higher. Something in these books not clicking for me.
Barbara Bingham
Apr 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing

By the time I got to 80 some odd percent of the book, I found myself reading it out loud. Slowly as not to miss any new revelation or clues. It was deliciously exciting! I love the way Mayor puts the puzzle together. He is gifted to say the least. I hope I don't run out of money before I get to read All of his Joe Gunther mysteries.
Jay Clement
Jan 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
8-2019. Second in this series. Our hero does some sleuthing, fights some fights, does some gunplay, and eventually solves the case he stumbles into. Satisfying and quick read (I was reading this at the same time asa non-fiction book, so it appears that it took longer than it did). Ill come back and visit with Mr. Gunter soon. ...more
I was planning to give this 4 stars, but in the last hour it was hard to keep my interest. There was too much description of the location of the final scenes and not enough interaction between the characters. I wanted to read ahead to the end, and I never do that.
Sep 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio-books
Continuing the series. This is #2 and fills in some of Joe's back story. A fire in the small town where he spent his summers with his uncle sets off a series of chain reactions that brings up old hurts and injuries to cloud the real murder story.
May 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
A good "who dunnit " from Archer Mayer.

A good "who dunnit " from Archer Mayer. Interesting plot twists featuring our favorite character Joe Gunther. It will stand alone although it does refer back to book one in the series.
Michael crage
Mar 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
It was a pretty good book, but it plodded a little at times. One thing I especially liked about the book is that even though there were several question that need answering, every one of them was answered by the end of the book.
Oct 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
This and my other reviews from this year can be found on my blog, drinkingandink.

Popsugar 2016 Reading Challenge: A book set in your home state.

This was another reading challenge category that stumped me for a long time. Books set in Vermont are not impossible to come by, but if youre not into Chris Bohjalian or nature writing, your options are limited. Howard Frank Mosher is a great choice, but I have to be in the right mood for him, and I havent been so far this year (and its October). Ive
Jan 12, 2019 rated it liked it
For my money he went a bit overboard in presenting Gunther as
a Swiss army knife of detection.
Chick Marks
Mar 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Going back to the early stories and enjoying them.
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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

Other books in the series

Joe Gunther (1 - 10 of 30 books)
  • Open Season (Joe Gunther #1)
  • Scent of Evil (Joe Gunther #3)
  • The Skeleton's Knee (Joe Gunther #4)
  • Fruits of the Poisonous Tree (Joe Gunther #5)
  • The Dark Root  (Joe Gunther #6)
  • The Ragman's Memory (Joe Gunther #7)
  • Bellows Falls (Joe Gunther #8)
  • The Disposable Man (Joe Gunther #9)
  • Occam's Razor (Joe Gunther #10)
  • The Marble Mask (Joe Gunther #11)

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