“Archer Mayor’s Vermont police procedurals are the best thing going…” —New York Times Book Review
Archer Mayor’s Joe Gunther detective series, 26 books in all, is one of the most enduring and critically acclaimed police procedural series being written today. For years, Archer has integrated actual police methodology with intricately detailed plot lines into novels that The New York Times has called “dazzling,” and Booklist has said are “among the best cop stories being written today.” Whereas many writers base their books on only interviews and scholarly research, Mayor’s novels are based on actual experience in the field. The result adds a depth, detail and veracity to his characters and their tribulations that has led The New York Times to call him “the boss man on procedures,” and the Arizona Daily Star to write, “Few deliver such well-rounded novels of such consistent high quality.”
The Joe Gunther detective series began in 1988 with Open Season, and now includes Borderlines, Scent of Evil, The Skeleton’s Knee, Fruits of the Poisonous Tree, The Dark Root, The Ragman’s Memory, Bellows Falls, The Disposable Man, Occam’s Razor, Marble Mask, Tucker Peak, The Sniper’s Wife, Gatekeeper, The Surrogate Thief, St. Albans Fire, The Second Mouse, Chat, The Catch, The Price of Malice, Red Herring, Tag Man, Paradise City, Three Can Keep A Secret and The Company She Kept.
The Los Angeles Times featured Scent of Evil in its 1992 year-end list of recommend readings and proclaimed The Skeleton’s Knee “one of the best ten mystery books of the year” in 1993. That book also prompted The New York Times to call Mayor “one of the most sophisticated stylists in the genre,” and in 1997, to proclaim The Ragman’s Memory one of only eleven “Notable” mysteries of the year—an honor it repeated in 2002 with The Sniper’s Wife.
Born on July 30, 1950, on a farm in New York, Archer Huntington Mayor traveled widely in his youth and amassed a breadth of experience that has served him well as a writer. Mayor has stated that before the age of thirty, he never lived for more than four years in the same locale. In 1980 he came to live in Vermont and in 1982 moved near Brattleboro, the town that would provide the setting for most of the novels in the Joe Gunther series. He later moved to Newfane, Vermont. Mayor has stated that moving from place to place gave him a sociologist’s ability to “read” a place or situation quickly and go about fitting in; this ability surely came in handy when he returned to the United States for college after having been raised largely abroad, and it is an ability his protagonist, Joe Gunther, has in abundance.
Mayor held a variety of jobs before becoming a full-time novelist. He studied history at Yale and is the author of at least one nonfictional historical work published by an academic press: Southern Timberman: The Legacy of William Buchanan (1988). He has stated that in addition to writing history, he worked as a scholarly editor, a political advance man, a theater photographer, a newspaper writer and editor, a lab technician, and a medical illustrator. He also made several attempts at writing novels, which he later dismissed as “typing.”
From this wide range of formative experiences, Mayor gained skills that would serve...
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