Poisoned Pen, July 2002, 24.95, 302 pp.
He left St. Adele, Michigan as a boy and returned to it as a man, having served in two world wars in military intelligence. Now John McIntire and his British wife are trying to become a part of the community. He becomes the town's constable and she is the publisher of the local newspaper.
John looks forward to some serenity, but almost immediately he investigates a homicide that he quickly solves. A year later, fisherman Nels Bertelsen is found dead aboard his boat, the victim of a bee bite. At first it appears to be a tragic accident, but John uncovers evidence that leads him to conclude that someone placed the bee in the victim's clothing while the medicine that would have saved Nels was replaced by something useless. The only problem is nobody had a motive to murder the man.
PAST IMPERFECT is a very well written regional mystery starring an enigmatic hero who is readjusting to life in the USA. The supporting cast is colorful and eccentric while the plot is fast-paced and exciting. Katherine Hills makes the 1950's in the peninsula of Northern Michigan seem real in the mind's eye of the reader, who along with reviewer, looks forward to more works starring the True Grit like character of John McIntire.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner