Archer Mayor lives in Newfane Vermont. He visits Village Square Booksellers each Fall for a reading and book signing and is always extremely entertaining.
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, and The Catch.
Each Fall there is a new hardcover Joe Gunther mystery and the book from the previous year comes out in paperback.
We usually have a full house at our Archer Mayor events so be sure to make a reservation for his new hardcover book and a reservation to attend the book signing.
Before turning his hand to fiction, Mayor wrote history books, the most notable of which concerned the lumber and oil business in Louisiana from the 1870s to the 1970s. Mayor is a death investigator for Vermont’s Chief Medical Examiner, a deputy for the Windham County Sheriff’s Department, and has 25 years experience as a volunteer firefighter and EMT. He also served as a Bellows Falls Police Officer.
Here is a teaser on the 2013 novel: Three can keep a secret
Wayne Castine was found brutally murdered and the murderer remains at large. Castine, a suspected child predator, was killed in Brattleboro where he was involved with a tangled network of an extended family living in a local trailer park. Any member of the clan would have had the opportunity to kill him, and, as he was involved with both the mother and her 12 year old daughter, reason to commit the murder. At the same time, Joe Gunther has learned that his girlfriend Lyn Silva's fisherman father and brother, believed lost at sea off the coast of Maine, might have actually been murdered. Without enough solid information to warrant law enforce ment involvement, Lyn returns to Maine to try and investigate Gunther's findings. Gunther periodically puts his on-going murder investigation on hold--irritating his colleagues and angering his bosses --to go and help Lyn in Maine. It appears increasingly possible that her father and brother weren't the good guys that Lyn always believed them to be and that they might have been involved with vicious smugglers who murdered them--and might do the same to Lyn if she keeps pushing. Torn between his conscience and his heart, a murder invest - igation and a personal search for the truth, Gunther finds that betrayal and loyalty are often a matter of viewpoint.
Joe Gunther, head of the Vermont Bureau of Investigation, and his team are brought in to not only find and bring down the killers of a fellow officer, but also to infiltrate and shut down the major drug running operation going through Vermont Joe Gunther, a Vermont cop for most of his adult life and now the head of the VBI (Vermont Bureau of Investigation) gets the call that every law enforcement person hates and every friend and family member of a policeman fears -- a cop has been shot and killed. A deputy sheriff was shot to death during a routine traffic stop on a dark country road. From what can been seen on the cruiser's tape recorder of the killers, it is believed that they were a couple of Boston-based drug runners who had been stopped by the deputy on their way from Canada down to Boston. Which is what brings Gunther and his team to the investigation - an attempt to shut down the major drug running operation. Specially that of one Alan Budney, disaffected son of a lobsterman, now a drug kingpin, who uses the closed, clannish lobster fishing community and his extended family in particular, to move drugs along the New England coast.
Joe Gunther, a policeman for most of his adult life, gets the call that every cop hates: A fellow officer has been killed in the line of duty. During what appears to have been a routine traffic stop on a dark country Vermont road, a deputy sheriff was shot to death. From what can be seen on the cruiser's video recorder, the killers appear to be a couple of Boston-based drug runners. Gunther and his Vermont Bureau of Investigation are brought in to identify the killers--and track them down up and down the northeast shoreline. Meanwhile, Alan Budney, the disaffected son of a Maine lobsterman, is a man with big ambitions--to usurp and replace the state's primary drug kingpin, a plan that will inevitably place him on a dangerous collision course with Gunther's investigation...
News travels fast in the small state of Vermont. In this tight-knit society, police officers and investigators proudly maintain a kinship that transcends the boundaries of their jurisdictions. When an unidentified body is found in the peaceful town of Brattleboro, local police and the Vermont Bureau of Investigation both appear at the scene. But before investigator Joe Gunther can begin to gather evidence of murder, a family emergency sends him to his hometown, where the lives of his mother and brother have suddenly been threatened. Gunther reaches out to a network of police officers who know him only by name and repututation as he attempts to discover the source of this imminent danger. Meanwhile, his investigative team chases an elusive murderer who has no apparent ties to the victim. In a state that is more like a neighborhood community, secrets are difficult to keep, and it's sometimes impossible to know who can be trusted. Gunther soon finds himself opposing criminals more menacing than any he has ever encountered in order to save those he holds closest to his heart.
Autographed hardcover! News travels fast in the small state of Vermont. In this tight-knit society, police officers and investigators proudly maintain a kinship that transcends the boundaries of their jurisdictions. When an unidentified body is found in the peaceful town of Brattleboro, local police and the Vermont Bureau of Investigation both appear at the scene. But before investigator Joe Gunther can begin to gather evidence of murder, a family emergency sends him to his hometown, where the lives of his mother and brother have suddenly been threatened. Gunther reaches out to a network of police officers who know him only by name and repututation as he attempts to discover the source of this imminent danger. Meanwhile, his investigative team chases an elusive murderer who has no apparent ties to the victim. In a state that is more like a neighborhood community, secrets are difficult to keep, and it's sometimes impossible to know who can be trusted. Gunther soon finds himself opposing criminals more menacing than any he has ever encountered in order to save those he holds closest to his heart.
Second Mouse A legend among Vermont cops, Joe Gunther has solved more local whodunits than a whole squad of detectives. But his latest case takes him and his team off their Brattleboro home turf, forty-two miles west, to chip-on-its-shoulder, blue-collar Bennington. On the edge of town, Gunther encounters the lifeless body of Michelle Fisher. Her corpse, pale and seemingly at peace, offers him no clues about who she was or how she died. There are no signs of violence, no disorder. Snapshots and postcards show a woman who laughed hard and lived harder. Yet diaries reveal a rootless life marred by depression and drink. Suicide seems a reasonable conclusion, but Gunther suspects foul play. The house is for sale, after all, and Michelle was its only tenant-one who resisted all efforts to have her evicted. The unsavory landlord is a prime suspect, but is safely equipped with an impressively air-tight alibi. Now to uncover the truth about the fate of this discarded, all but forgotten woman, Gunther must follow a confusing trail of half leads and mounting crimes. He draws near to a violent and careless trio of criminals, whose leader is hell-bent on making the career move of a lifetime-and willing to step on anyone who might get in his way.
In present-day Vermont, a woman kills her ex-husband with an old, second-hand gun that turns out to have a history with Det. Joe Gunther. Thirty-two years earlier, as Joe and his then wife Ellen struggled with her terminal bout of cancer, local store owner Klaus Oberfeldt was robbed and beaten to death by a local thief using that same gun. Overwhelmed by Ellen’s illness, however, Joe’s personal grief hampered his investigation, and the suspect, Pete Shea, vanished before they could catch him. As Gunther and the Vermont Bureau of Investigation delve into this now suddenly renewed case, they discover that the political opponent of Joe’s longtime girlfriend, Gail Zigman (who is running for state senate) has close financial ties with one of the suspects in the old Oberfeldt investigation. But the deeper he digs, the deeper Joe becomes immersed in his own personal history with Ellen and with Gail, and when the Oberfeldt case takes a turn for the unexpected, Joe realizes that he is faced with a politically perilous situation—and a possibly lethal one personally.
Gatekeeper: A known drug dealer is found hanging from a railroad trestle in Rutland, the daughter of a political bigwig is dead of an overdose in the man’s apartment, and a young woman (Gail Zigman’s niece) is shot while trying to rob a convenience store for drug money. Heroin is hitting Vermont in unprecedented quantities. Vermont Bureau of Investigation special agent Joe Gunther (and Zigman’s long time partner) is called upon by the governor to put his agency’s talents to work staunching this flood. Unfortunately for Joe, headstrong colleague Sammie Martens takes the initiative and goes undercover in Holyoke Massachusetts before a more organized operation can be put in place. Does Joe pull her out, or take advantage of this lucky but very risky break? Is Sammie fully prepared for what she’s about to encounter? Meanwhile, Gail Zigman, stunned by her niece’s plight, heads off on her own to discover what led to this tragedy, and Lester Spinney — another of Joe’s co-workers — finds that the scourge of drugs may have hit inside his own family, forcing him to put his job in jeopardy. Taking place in Holyoke and Brattleboro, Springfield, and Rutland, Vermont, Gatekeeper forces Joe Gunther to choose between possibly saving the lives of countless potential victims, and those of the friends he cherishes. It also offers some insight into the threat that is currently in the headlines of Vermont's daily newspapers.
Leaving the relative calm of Vermont, Detective Willy Kunkle must confront his past as he seeks revenge for the death of his ex-wife in the back alleys of New York City. Labeled an accidental overdose, her death is considered routine by the NYPD. But Willy's investigation points to foul play. Now, his search will uncover more about his own life than even he thought possible—and place him in the gravest danger he has ever known.
Winter is on the wane in Northwestern Vermont. The moon hangs bright and cold in the silvery night sky over hundreds of square miles of a peaceful, dormant landscape of dairy farms. Bobby Cutts—young, heartbroken, and unable to sleep—enters the family barn to tend to the beasts within… and encounters the last nightmare of his life. Suddenly and explosively surrounded by bolts of fire racing in all directions, Bobby and the entire herd perish in a searing, stampeding, Hellish circle of flames. Called to the scene to investigate, Joe Gunther instantly recognizes arson. But why, and by whom? And for what possible reason? There is little insurance, the family is loving and tightly knit, and there are few neighborhood animosities. But murder this is, and Gunther quickly discovers it’s just one of a series of recent barn-related arsons. Someone is wreaking havoc across the bucolic farmlands surrounding the town of St. Albans, and before Joe can discover who that is, he must dissect the social fabric of the community, the soul of Bobby’s family, and the complex, cut-throat business of farming lurking under its placid exterior. This journey will take Joe and his sidekick, Willy Kunkle, from the country to gritty Newark, New Jersey, where they will get lessons in the ways of both big city cops, old-time Mafia soldiers, and the power of money. Before it is all done, Joe will engage in a deadly game of chess that transcends mere police work, and confront at last an opponant with nothing to lose, whose final mission in life is to destroy the woman closest to Joe’s heart.