I dislike reading manuscript PDFs on my laptop, especially if the manuscript is a good mystery and what I really want is to curl up and enjoy. Still, when writer, teacher and friend, Robert J. Ray, offered his latest Murdock mystery in pre-publication format, I was delighted.
Murdock Tackles Taos is Ray's sixth Murdock mystery. The first was Bloody Murdock, released in 1986. Matt Murdock moved to Seattle and Murdock Cracks Ice appeared in 1992. Ray says he writes slow. I say each new adventure is worth the wait. I've enjoyed every one of the Murdock mysteries and this is no exception. If you enjoy well-written mysteries, watch for Murdock Tackles Taos, scheduled for release by Seattle's own Camel Press next month. Learn more about Robert Ray's work at his blog, co-authored with Jack Remick.
Here's my review:
Murdock Tackles Taos is an any-time summer read, a murder mystery fueled with action: a missing woman and a corpse, good guys and bad guys, love and sex, all flavored with evil I will not reveal. Also, Murdock Tackles Taos examines privilege and the extremes that mega-wealth can afford. When you can buy anything or anyone you want, what more is there? What games do humans play when the thrill is gone? When human life loses all meaning or value?
Through it all, Murdock makes me smile. He’s not a suave, sophisticated James Bond. He’s not a disheveled, bumbling Colombo either. He’s real. He’s kind. He’s somebody to share a good adventure with. Helene Steinbeck, retired town marshal turned successful author, is Murdock’s new sidekick and lover. She makes me just a tiny bit jealous.
Robert Ray’s novel tossed me back and forth between the feel of a summer read and a study in human nature – either way Murdock Tackles Taos is a read you won’t want to miss.