Snow on the Roses (A Garth Ryland Mystery)

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9781569800720: Snow on the Roses (A Garth Ryland Mystery)

The editor of the Oakalla Reporter, Garth Ryland investigates the seemingly natural death of his mentor and friend Doc Airhart, when Doc's niece becomes suspicious and a chapter of his memoirs, possibly containing information on a thirty-year-old murder--vanishes.

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From Kirkus Reviews:

All of Riggs's anatomies of Oakalla, Wisconsin (Killing Frost, 1995, etc.), have been elegies to small-town life, but his 11th is especially grief-soaked because of Oakalla Reporter editor Garth Ryland's intimacy with the victims. Ninety-year-old Dr. Bill Airhart, ``the closest thing to an icon that we had in Oakalla,'' was not only Garth's mentor and longtime friend, but the uncle of his lover, Dr. Abby Airhart, and he's shocked when the old man dies in his bed--though not too shocked to suspect foul play, especially after he realizes that Doc Airhart was killed right before the newspaper was to serialize his memoirs for 1962, the year retarded Dewey Clinton insists he found two bodies near Wildwood Bridge. It looks like a safely archival job for chickenhearted deputy Eugene Yuill--except that Eugene's been murdered, too, as Garth confirms when he finds his body buried in the backyard of the late Dewey Clinton. There'll be still more deadly discoveries, including a macabre find in Doc Airhart's private morgue, before Garth closes the circle between ancient history and a present-day killer who can't let it rest. The delayed-action plot is as underplayed as you'd expect from Riggs. This time, though, the cast, as if in mourning for Doc Riggs and Eugene Yuill, is uncommonly subdued, too: Except for Garth himself, all the most memorable characters are dead. -- Copyright ©1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Publishers Weekly:

It's safe to assume that a series that has lasted into its second decade has something going for it, and this one, featuring Garth Ryland, owner/editor of the Oakalla Reporter, a small-town weekly in Wisconsin, does. Riggs's rural characters, fondly drawn with warts, sharp edges and all, include Garth's girlfriend, Abby Airhart, physician niece of old "Doc" Airhart; the acerbic housekeeper Ruth Krammes; and townspeople with colorful nicknames like Sniffy Smith, Howdy Heavin and Shank Doyle. Unfortunately, this 11th series entry is flawed by an unconvincing plot resolution. When 90-year-old Doc Airhart dies in his sleep, it shouldn't be surprising. But when the latest installment of his memoirs is missing and an autopsy confirms that Doc was murdered, Garth is forced to investigate not only Doc's death but also a 30-year-old death that Doc had planned to write about in his memoirs. Oakalla is shaken by more murders before Garth and his allies are able to sort through the venal deceptions to unmask the deadly ones. While it will be welcomed by series loyalists, Snow on the Roses is unlikely to win new fans.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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