Monday, April 30, 2018

See Also Proof by Larry D. Sweazy

Larry D. Sweazy's mysteries are gloomy and dark. He's a master at creating atmosphere. And, this time, in the latest Marjorie Trumaine mystery, See Also Proof, he has a North Dakota winter as background. It's perfect for a feeling of isolation and loneliness.

Marjorie Trumaine is feeling isolated and lonely. Despite the fact that her husband, Hank, was bedridden before his death in October, she misses the time and conversation and love they shared. A January winter is not easy, even though she has her job as a book indexer. And, right now, she has regular visits from the Ladies Aid group who bring food and check on her. Even so, she'd rather be alone with her border collie, Shep, and her memories.

As part of the community, though, Marjorie feels compelled to help when Tina Rinkerman, a mentally challenged girl, goes missing in a storm. She takes food to the family, but, eventually insists she be allowed to search. She accompanies the new sheriff Guy Reinhardt, and they're the ones who come across the body of the local manager of the Red Owl grocery. He's in his car, shot three times. Now, there's a new widow, and she's the mother of three, with a fourth on the way.

This is Reinhardt's first big test as sheriff. He has to juggle a murder investigation while looking for a missing girl. Marjorie is feeling useless, just asked to visit with the new widow. She knows her true strength is in organizing information, so she starts her own index of her knowledge of the cases. And, then she's asked to run an errand for the sheriff, one that will put her in danger, from man and the elements.

Larry D. Sweazy has a gift for creating a lead character, and dropping them into dangerous, dark situations. And, his use of language enhances the atmosphere and the characters. Marjorie knew the dead grocer. "I couldn't consider a world without Nils Jacobsen. I had known the man all my life...Now I knew Nils's story, beginning, middle, and end."

Marjorie Trumaine. She's much younger than you would guess from reading about her. She's only in her mid-thirties, but she knows she inherited her strengths from her parents; persistence, patience, backbone. Those are all traits needed to survive on the North Dakota prairie, as the wife, then caretaker, then widow, of a wheat farmer. Those are also the traits that provide the grit she needs to deal with the January prairie storms, and the attack by an unknown enemy who knows Marjorie may learn the truth.

Each of Sweazy's Marjorie Trumaine mysteries leads to the next, but you can still start with See Also Proof. The words and atmosphere and truth in this masterfully written mystery seep into your soul.

Larry D. Sweazy's website is

See Also Proof by Larry D. Sweazy. Seventh Street Books, 2018. ISBN 9781633882799 (paperback),  250p.

FTC Full Disclosure - I received the book to review for a journal.


Gram said...

I'm going to give this one a try. I put it on my library list. Thanks.

Lesa said...

You're welcome, Gram. He's a powerful writer.