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Past Imperfect by Kathleen Hills
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0373264712, Mass Market Paperback)

Present Tense

A seasoned fisherman of hardy Norwegian stock, Nels Bertelsen is found dead on his boat, apparently from a bee sting to which he was highly allergic. No one questions the tragic randomness of this accident except John McIntire, a retired military intelligence officer and now the new constable of St. Adele, Michigan, the hometown to which he has returned after thirty years abroad.

McIntire suspects that someone actually places the bees in the victim's clothing and replaced his vial of antidote with poison. Bertelsen was a hot-tempered man -- but had he picked one fight too many? As McIntire probes deeper into the victims life, a teenage girl is found strangled to death but her body disappears before McIntire arrives on the scene. The no-nonsense soldier gets busy reacquainting himself with Michigan's Upper Peninsula as well as the folks he grew up with . . . and discovers some buried secrets worth killing for.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:20 -0400)

A grizzled Lake Superior fisherman with a massive allergy to bees dies very early one morning alone on his boat. Was he stung to death? John McIntire, retired from a career in military intelligence and striving to regain a place in his boyhood home after 30 years away, is serving as township constable. He questions the easy verdict. The town of St. Adele has little experience with violent death -- or murder. Nor does McIntire, despite fighting in two world wars. Worse, all the suspects are friends and neighbors, men and women he grew up with "talking Swede." The dead man, last of a Norwegian family who came to raise apples in the struggling rural township sandwiched between the Huron Mountains of Michigan's Upper Peninsula and the southern shore of Lake Superior, had no real enemies despite his gruff temper. And he had little to leave aside from a heavily mortgaged boat. So, who wanted to kill him? Saddened by violence striking Utopia, worried his British bride might cut and run, his task complicated by taciturn witnesses and six party telephone lines, the naturally humorous McIntire, while bringing a murderer to justice, struggles to evolve a new perspective on a rural community he has idealized for three decades. Rich in magnificent landscape, vivid characters stepping from a past both thoroughly Midwestern and multi-ethnic, and a secret-laden story, filled with laughter and warm insights,… (more)

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