Perfect Opportunity

Canongate. (A Posadas County Mystery, Bk. 16). May 2024. 224p. ISBN 9781448311675. $31.99. M
At the start of this thoroughly captivating detective story, indestructible Bill Gastner, former undersheriff, now resident guru of Posadas County, NM, is celebrating his 87th birthday at a party organized by his prize pupil, Estelle Guzman, who is the current undersheriff of Posadas County. Soon after the birthday party disbands, two men are reported dead in a truck. One stabbed the other; the other shot and killed the stabber. But the shooter wasn’t dead yet: an unidentified third party climbed into the cab and drove the knife further into his chest. Not long after, ever curious Bill roams the desert in his motorized wheelchair and discovers that the wooden girders of six railroad bridges have been cut through. When the train next passes, it’ll tumble into the arroyo. Both puzzles converge in a unified and satisfactory resolution. Havill’s 16th “Posadas County Mystery” (following No Accident) displays all the traits that makes this series a treat: a cast of characters who make up a neighborhood, attention to the details of detective work, and no letup in tension and interest.
VERDICT One of the best installments in a consistently superior series of regional mysteries.
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