Death at Charity's Point - William G. Tapply I love Tapply's stuff and was dismayed to hear of his death in 2009. Fortunately all of his work is being issued as ebooks. This is the first in his Brady Coyne series and sets the stage for the following books in the series. All are worth reading.

Charity's Point is a cliff named after a Puritan accused of being a witch who jumped to her death in the 17th century. Now, George, the son of Florence Gresham has been found washed up at the base of the same cliff. He was very different than his brother, Win, who was described as a real killer by his mother. Win had been killed in Vietnam. Or was he?

Florence is quite a character. Dud, her husband, blew his brains out with a shotgun in the bathroom, preferring that to a slower death from cancer. They had talked about it. Two weeks later, Florence, while taking a bath, castigated the maid for not cleaning the bathroom up well as she had just found a piece of Dud's skull.

She asks Brady, whose law practice is as much about catering to the whims of his rich clients as it is providing legal advice, to research George's suicide. And then to check into Win's death as well. The elite prep school where George taught history has an interesting set of characters including a strong skin-head contingent. And did the football star's plagiarized paper have anything to do with George's death?

This is a fine start to a wonderful series. Coyne is a great character to follow and I an so glad the series is being re-released as many of the originals had gone out-of-print.

One joke I must relay. Brady and his friend Charlie, who works in the Justice Department, are having dinner and Charlie is describing a recent scene in which the Coast Guard ship he was on stopped a boat on which the smugglers began breaking open bales of marijuana and throwing it overboard to the hundreds of circling gulls.

"So we asked one of the guys what the hell he thought he was doing, feeding the gulls like that. Know what he said?”
“What did he say?”
Charlie stared at me. “He said, ‘I wanted to leave no tern unstoned.’”

And another sample: "Charlie and I sat across from each other at one of the long tables covered with a stained, yellowed tablecloth. Next to Charlie sat a fat couple from Arizona, each of whom was hunched over a big sirloin, well-done. The couple’s two kids, a girl and a boy maybe eleven and nine, split a bowl of spaghetti. The boy complained that he hated spaghetti. The father told him to shut up, as he shoveled chunks of thick, overcooked beef into his mouth. The girl asked her mother for a french fry. The mother told her to eat her spaghetti first, then proceeded to gobble down all her french fries so that when the girl was finished there’d be none left."

My thanks to the publisher for this free advance copy through Netgalley in return for my always honest opinion.