MAYHEM IN THE CATSKILLS
by Norman J. Van Valkenburgh
From "Prologue: Wednesday, October 21, 1964":
"The gunshots became echoes as the sound of them reverberated from wall to wall inside the small cabin. One would probably have done the job, but two made it a sure thing; the shooter didn't do things halfway. The bullets went true to their mark. Two holes appeared side by side, no more than an inch punctuated by the thin curl of smoke that spiraled upward from the barrel of the handgun. . . .
The first person to come in sight around the bend in the road below the cabin was Ward Eastman, the land surveyor. He was striding along purposefully, swinging his double-bitted cruiser's ax and glancing back impatiently now and then. He saw the pickup truck and momentarily wondered about it before turning his attention back to what he was there for."
Ward Eastman, the mystery-solving surveyor, who was the hero in Murder in the Catskills, returns to consider a locked-room mystery in a remote cabin in the central Catskills.
Norman J. Van Valkenburgh was born in West Kill in Greene County and has spent most of his life in or in sight of the Catskill Mountains. He is a licensed land surveyor and 32-year veteran of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. He has written extensively about the Catskills and Adirondacks. Of his first Ward Eastman mystery, the Kingston Daily Freeman wrote: "Knowing the terrain as only a good surveyor can, Van Valkenburgh has filled his first novel with a wonderful assortment of true Catskill detail. He knows how the forests that blanket our mountains look and feel when walking through them at different seasons. He knows the taciturn manner in which long friendships unfold in deep hollows. And he knows a lot about local history."
Norman Van Valkenburgh is the author of three other Ward Eastman stories: Murder in the Catskills, Mischief in the Catskills (a mystery novella with five short stories), and Murder in the Shawangunks. His non-fiction works published by Purple Mountain Press include The Forest Preserve in New York State in the Adirondack and Catskill Mountains and Old Stone Walls: Catskill Life and Lore.
158 pages, 6 x 9, 1994
$12.50 paperback, $25.00 hardcover
A Purple Mountain Press mystery original
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