The winter of 1965 is a long and a bleak one for Marjorie Trumaine as she deals with sometimes overwhelming grief on her isolated North Dakota farm. Her border collie Shep keeps her company and her work as an indexer keeps her busy while women from the Ladies Aid society urge her to join their ranks.
When Marjorie hears the news that a neighbor's fourteen-year-old disabled daughter is missing, she joins the search which doesn't turn up the young girl but does find the body of a murdered man. The man's body was near the missing girl's house. Why? Who wanted him dead? Is his death connected to the girl's disappearance?
Marjorie's search for the truth leads her six hours away to the Grafton State School where the missing girl lived. And-- as often happens-- the information she uncovers raises even more questions. But the most important question of all is this: will the murderer come after Marjorie now that she knows a long-hidden secret?
Larry D. Sweazy's Marjorie Trumaine series continues to be one of my favorites. In See Also Proof, he uses a chapter of North Dakota history that was swept under the rug (and all other states have similar chapters that they've tried to bury). I also like how Marjorie uses her indexing skills to further her investigation into murder; moreover, readers get to learn more about this little-known skill as the story progresses.
Winter is a major character in this book. One blizzard after another roars through. People have to wear many, many layers of clothing in an attempt to stay warm. It's a fight to keep vehicles running in this brutal weather. And most of all, Marjorie shows us why it's so important to have an emergency kit in your vehicle because the chances of being stranded in a snowbank are very real.
As the investigations into the girl's disappearance and the man's death progress, another important theme of the book is uncovered: how people in these isolated areas come together to help each other in times of grief and of trouble. Once again, Sweazy has created a strong mystery for a stalwart woman to solve, but he's also painted a portrait of community, and that will stay in my mind even longer than the mystery itself.
See Also Proof by Larry D. Sweazy
Seventh Street Books © 2018
Paperback, 251 pages
Historical Mystery, #3 Marjorie Trumaine mystery
Source: Amazon Vine