Books I am reading

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A Nice New England Lawyer Follows a Trail Through Time

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Death at Charity's Point: 1 (The Brady Coyne Mysteries) [Kindle Edition]
William G. Tapply

This is a reprint of the first in the Brady Coyne series, written almost 30 years ago. The story has held up over time. You have to think back to the early 80's and realize they didn't have cell phones to whip out, and folks were not connected by the Internet.

Brady Coyne is a Boston lawyer with just enough ambition and enough luck to have fallen into a lucrative practice serving the super-rich elderly. He draws up wills, fights minor battles, and does a lot of hand holding to earn his money. One of his clients, Florence Gresham has never needed nor wanted hand-holding; not when her elder son died in Vietnam, not when her husband committed suicide. But when she was told her younger son, George, jumps off of a cliff near the school where he taught, she is sure it is not true. She asks Brady to investigate, even though he is concerned this is the beginning of a break with reality for Florence. When Florence offers to pay him 10% of George's insurance, Brady feels enticed enough to help Florence find the truth.

Brady talks to the medical examiner, the police chief, and several faculty at the prep school where George taught. No one seemed to know him well, but all agreed that the behavior didn't seem in line with what they did know of George, and, none had noted a downturn of his always dour demeanor.

In helping Florence to clear out George's apartment on campus, Brady finds a paper written by one of his students. Having only rated a "C" grade, Brady was curious why the perfectionist George had kept it. Brady also sees that George has been doing some research on the same topic as the student paper: the bombings in 1971 by radical groups wanting to overthrow the government.

Brady ploddingly follows each piece of a clue he can muster up, as we get to know several students and faculty at George's school, and the day-to-day life of Brady's law practice. There are interesting people, and enough twists and turns to keep it interesting. I give this book 4 stars for being well-written, moving forward (though slowly at times), and developing some interesting characters. I will be interested to see which ones become regulars in subsequent stories.

For those who like well thought out characters, a nice lawyer with little ambition, and little to no gore, this book is for you.