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Saturday, May 28, 2016

See Also Deception: A Marjorie Trumaine Mystery By Larry Sweazy

by Sandra Murphy

Details on how to win a copy of this book at the end of the review.

The year is 1964. The country is still trying to recover from President Kennedy’s assassination.

Marjorie Trumaine is first a farmer’s wife. She likes to contribute more than good meals and a clean house, so she took a USDA course in how to index books—you know, the pages at the back of the book that verify facts and tell you all the pages they occur. She’s methodical and precise, so this is a great job for her since it can be done from home, even in North Dakota.

Her husband Hank calls it her book work. It’s a good thing she has a steady stream of jobs because the weather, market prices, and luck have a lot to do with the success of a farm’s crops year to year.

Last year, Hank had some horrible luck. He went out to shoot grouse, the adult size that are in the woods which makes it a fairer hunt, he says. As best anybody can tell, he stepped in a gopher hole, the gun went off, and shot him in the face. When he fell, his neck was broken. Now the formerly husky and active farmer is bedridden, paralyzed from the neck down and blind. Needless to say, Marjorie doesn’t get out much anymore.

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She is good friends with Calla, the local librarian. After all, when you can’t verify a fact on your own, a librarian is your next phone call or visit. Calla refers to Marjorie as a local celebrity and has a special shelf to hold all the books she’s indexed.

The library’s not that big, and Calla prides herself in being able to answer the phone within three rings, no matter where she is in the library. When Marjorie calls and it rings for the fourth time, she has a bad feeling. Hank says she’s worrying for nothing, but she’s not so sure.

Image source: Seventh Street Books

When she calls back later, it’s even worse. The phone is answered by Guy, part of the local law enforcement. He’s not telling anything which is frustrating for Marjorie. The next day’s paper has a tiny paragraph that says, “Local Librarian Found Dead.” That’s all she got to read before a gust of wind grabbed the newspaper out of her hands.

She called on her next door neighbor and his girlfriend Betty to come spend time with Hank so she could go to town to see what happened. She’s floored when Betty says rumor has it Calla committed suicide at the library. Still, Marjorie and one mysterious woman can’t believe it.

At first the book seemed a bit wordy, but Marjorie is isolated, living on the farm, caring for Hank, and quiet is her own preference. As a methodical person, she tends to think things through. The language is often beautiful. North Dakota and the wind that’s ever present are equally characters in the story.

There’s a nice bit of suspense in several places, an ending that leaves you wanting more, and a good puzzle to figure out. I had an inkling of the murderer but not a clue about motive. All in all, this is a satisfying read that makes me want the next book in the series to show up soon.

To enter to win a copy of See Also Deception, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “deception,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen June 4, 2016. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address.

Sandra Murphy lives in the shadow of the arch, in the land of blues, booze and shoes—St Louis, Missouri. While writing magazine articles to support her mystery book habit, she secretly polishes two mystery books of her own, hoping, someday, they will see the light of Barnes and Noble. You can also find several of Sandra’s short stories on UnTreed Reads including her newest, "Arthur", included in the anthology titled, Flash and Bang, available now.


  1. See Also Deception sounds like a very intriguing read. Thanks for the giveaway! bobandcelia@sbcglobal.net

  2. Sounds like a Must Read! Great review. Thanks for the giveaway. doward1952@yahoo.com