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Cold Skies: A DreadfulWater Mystery

by Thomas King

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312677,203 (3.44)8
Thumps DreadfulWater has finally found some peace and quiet. His past as a California cop now far behind him, he's living out his retirement as a fine-arts photographer in the small town of Chinook. His health isn't great, and he could use a new stove, but as long as he's got his cat and a halfway decent plate of eggs, life is good. All that changes when a body turns up on the eve of a major water conference and the understaffed sheriff's department turns to Thumps for help. Thumps wants none of it, but even he is intrigued when he learns the deceased was developing a new technology that could revolutionize water and oil drilling . . . and that could also lose some very powerful people a lot of money. As strangers begin to pour into Chinook for the conference, Thumps finds himself sinking deeper and deeper into a conflict between secretive players who will kill to get what they want. In Cold Skies, the sly, wry, reluctant investigator of DreadfulWater and The Red Power Murders returns for another irresistible mystery that only Thomas King could tell.… (more)
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Another good DreadfulWater mystery. I like how he neatly goes about and solves the case, but a bit grumpily. This installment carries significant personal developments in Thumps’s relationship with Claire, and Freeway the cat makes a new friend. I can’t remember whether the books explain why Freeway is called that, but it’s a great name. I like this series for its characters, who are colourful and interesting without being “quirky”, and the narration, which gets in many excellent one-liners that have me chuckling out loud regularly. ( )
  rabbitprincess | Jun 5, 2022 |
Good Reboot of the Reluctant Laidback Detective
Review of the 2018 paperback edition from HarperCollins

I only discovered the Thumps DreadfulWater series of cozy mystery novels due to the reissue of both "DreadfulWater" (2003) and "The Red Power Murders" (2006) in 2017. Those were in anticipation of the release of the reboot "Cold Skies" in 2018 and the further "A Matter of Malice" (expected late January 2019).

Thomas King doesn't miss a beat in carrying on with the story of his supposedly retired police detective who is regularly called upon by characters in the fictional town of Chinook to solve a local murder mystery. This is actually my favourite of the series to date perhaps because of how comfortably we ease back into the life of the lead character whose leisurely life of landscape photography is constantly being interrupted by either outside villains or disruptive friends and neighbours.

The reboot continues the habit of the reissues in printing the books in large print which bump up what would probably be 250-300 page novels to near-doorstopper levels of 500+/- pages. I'm not sure if that is a psy-ops trick of the publisher to make us think we are reading something more substantial or is meant to flatter the expected senior audience of readers who are the most drawn to cozy mysteries. Perhaps it is both. ( )
  alanteder | Jan 14, 2019 |
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Thumps DreadfulWater has finally found some peace and quiet. His past as a California cop now far behind him, he's living out his retirement as a fine-arts photographer in the small town of Chinook. His health isn't great, and he could use a new stove, but as long as he's got his cat and a halfway decent plate of eggs, life is good. All that changes when a body turns up on the eve of a major water conference and the understaffed sheriff's department turns to Thumps for help. Thumps wants none of it, but even he is intrigued when he learns the deceased was developing a new technology that could revolutionize water and oil drilling . . . and that could also lose some very powerful people a lot of money. As strangers begin to pour into Chinook for the conference, Thumps finds himself sinking deeper and deeper into a conflict between secretive players who will kill to get what they want. In Cold Skies, the sly, wry, reluctant investigator of DreadfulWater and The Red Power Murders returns for another irresistible mystery that only Thomas King could tell.

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