Wednesday, January 5, 2011

York's Moon-Elizabeth Engstrom

York's Moon
Elizabeth Engstrom
Five Star, Mar 9 2011, $25.95
ISBN 9781594149283

Near the Yorktown hobo camp just outside of West Wheaton, California, a man falls out of a train. Identified as a minor mobster Wayne Haas, he is found dead in nearby weeds by camp resident Clover; he was murdered.

Sheriff Goddard assumes one of the Yorktown hobos killed Haas while his young Deputy Travis knows they did it for certain and plans to prove it the same way he learned law enforcement from TV shows. The prime suspects are blind camp Mayor York, Clover’s hyperactive boyfriend Denny and combat fatigue Vietnam vet Sly. Clover investigates the homicide while the West Wheaton Mayor Milo Grimes uses the murder as an excuse to demolish Yorktown.

York’s Moon is an entertaining murder mystery starring an intriguing cast led by York who has a “calling” with a flock and courageous Clover. The story line is fast-paced from the moment that the Hass corpse is found and never slows down. However Yorktown lacks the gritty grime one would expect at this type of camp as instead of a place filled with disease, crime and drugs, it comes across as a well-run safe unincorporated village. Still in spite of the romanticizing of the hobo camp, fans will enjoy Clover’s detecting.

Harriet Klausner

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