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High Season (Frank Coffin Mysteries) by Jon…

High Season (Frank Coffin Mysteries) (2007)

by Jon Loomis

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I heard a review of “High Season” months ago on NPR, so when searching for a fun summer read I picked up a copy. It is indeed “a fun summer read,” with great characters and a marvelously vivid portrait of Provincetown – a summer vacation spot at the very tip of Cape Cod.

“High Season” is a mystery of course. But at its heart it is the story of a place. The tension between the year-rounders who are being priced out of their family homes and driven to the brink by tourists and the summer residents who turn the town into a three-month-long traffic snarl and systematically erase the peace and traditions of the harbor where the Pilgrims signed the Mayflower Compact in 1620.

Loomis’s writing is jaunty, entertaining, and as refreshing as an evening breeze off the Atlantic Ocean. The action never flags, and the outlandish doings of the gay community (for whom P-Town is a summer mecca), rich out-of-towners, and thick-headed vacationing retirees with their “big butts and elastic waistbands” are served up with relish. Frank Coffin is an appealing protagonist, a former Homicide Detective who worked for years in Baltimore until the brutality of pointless murders drove him to return to his Cape Cod hometown -- where the worst crimes include bicycle theft and the occasional break in.

The great flaw of High Season is the plot. It feels as though Loomis didn’t know himself “who done it” until he had almost finished the book and was at last forced to produce a killer. If you’re a fan of a well-crafted mystery, this will drive you nuts. That said, all the other elements of the novel are enough fun to make up for the not infrequent clichés and wayward plot line. I understand Loomis has written more mysteries to follow Frank Coffin’s High Season debut and I intend to pick those up next time I’m looking for a little light reading. ( )
  ElizabethChapman | Jun 19, 2010 |
High Season does a pretty good job of capturing the flavor of Provincetown from a native's view. The mystery is ok, characters engaging, if sometimes stereotyped. Great beach book- I'll watch for more from this author. ( )
  Helenoel | Sep 7, 2009 |
Detective Frank Coffin sets out to investigate a series of deaths in Provincetown. While the basic plot is well-developed and interesting, my enjoyment was marred by the overuse of bad language. The "F" word seemed to be the only adjective in use by some of the characters, creating a rather tiresome dialogue. The author seemed to go out of his way to include the homosexual element of the town in ways that were probably offesnive to both gay and Evangelical readers. I doubt that any future Jon Loomis novels will be in my "to be read" pile. ( )
1 vote thornton37814 | Aug 29, 2008 |
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"As for thhe interior of the inhabitants, I am still in the dark about it." Thoreau, Cape Cod
For Porkchop
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Frank Coffin's office was windowless and cramped...
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312945213, Mass Market Paperback)

Frank Coffin had been a well-respected Baltimore homicide detective. But when he started having panic attacks at crime scenes, he was forced to go home to Cape Cod, where the worst crimes were usually break-ins, bicycle thefts, and domestic disputes. That is, until a vacationing televangelist turns up dead on the beach wearing a wig, a muumuu, and one size-twelve pump. Not to mention the raspberry-colored taffeta scarf strangling his neck.

Frank and his partner, Officer Lola Winters, begin checking out the drag bars and isolated trysting spots the reverend might have frequented. However, when the body count starts to rise, ,it becomes alarmingly clear that a killer with an agenda is at large in Provincetown. And Coffin’s fears—like unwelcome summer tourists—have returned in full force…

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:15 -0400)

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"Provincetown Police Detective Frank Coffin had been a well-respected Baltimore homicide detective. But when he started having panic attacks at crime scenes and fainting at the sight of corpses, he was forced to pack it in and go home to Cape Cod, where the most gruesome crimes confronting P'town's five year-round cops were usually break-ins, bicycle thefts, and domestic disputes." "After eight uneventful years, a vacationing TV evangelist turns up dead on the beach at Herring Cove, wearing a wig, a pink-and-yellow muumuu, and a pair of size-twelve pumps. Not to mention the raspberry-colored taffeta scarf strangling his neck. Ordinarily, the Cape and Islands DA's office and the State Police investigate major crimes on the Cape, but P'town's powers-that-be are nervous. Coffin's given a choice by the new police chief: investigate or lose his job.""So Frank and his partner, Officer Lola Winters, an ex-army MP, start out on the trail of a killer, visiting the restaurants and tourist spots the evangelist and his wife visited by day, and the drag bars and isolated trysting spots he might have frequented at night. As the body count begins to rise, however, it becomes alarmingly clear that this wasn't an isolated incident: A killer with an agenda is at large in Provincetown." "Tracking a murderer is something Coffin hoped he'd never have to do again, and the experience triggers the same nightmares that plagued the end of his time in Baltimore. And if his life isn't complicated enough, Frank's girlfriend, Jamie, thinks she's being stalked by an overzealous suitor; his senile mother is stirring up trouble at the nursing home; and everyone in town has a theory about who's committing the murders."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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