Book: The Bone Orchard by Paul Doiron. Reviewed from McMillan audiobook read by Henry Leyva.
Good grief. This is torture. Summer temps are in triple digits here in southern Arizona, and I read the bio of author of Maine mystery books, Paul Doiron, “He lives on a trout stream in coastal Maine with his wife.”
Since I’ll be meandering through Maine on my way to Nova Scotia later this year, I don’t let my envy stop me from listening to The Bone Orchard. And I am rewarded with a delightful tour through Maine as well as a ripping good story.
I am a lot more enthusiastic about the fifth book in the Mike Bowditch Maine mystery series than I was about the fourth one, Massacre Pond, that I reviewed last year. I suggest you take a look at that review, too, because what I had to say about the reader on the audio tape (same one for both books) and about the Maine Game Warden service still applies.
What is different about The Bone Orchard is that I care a lot more about the victims. Also, because Bowditch is no longer employed by the Warden service he is able to wander around the state instead of being confined to basically one patch of woods. It was good to get a look at Portland, Augusta, the far north of Maine in Presque Islae and the settlement of Sweden, and other glimpses of the variety of the state in addition to the woods.
On Doiron’s website you can find a map of “Mike Bowditch’s Maine”, but unfortunately it only covers the first three Maine Mystery books. A map showing all the wanderings in The Bone Orchard would take a lot of work, but would certainly be interesting.
I complained in that last review that I did not feel the personal aspects of Mike Bowditch’s life were well integrated into the book. The Bone Orchard structure seemed to me to make much more sense. Still the classic troubled modern man/detective in this book, he has voluntarily left the service to become a hunting and fishing guide. While he is still a bit haunted by his mother’s death from cancer and fumbling to reconcile himself with two past love interests, these personal concerns make more sense within the context of a vicious attack on the woman who has been his mentor in the Game Warden service.
Mike Bowditch’s independent nature makes it plausible that he would delve into solving a crime even though he is no longer a officer of the law. The story is gripping and I found myself neglecting a long queue of recorded programs on my television and turn on the CD player so I could hear what happened next in this enticing Maine mystery.
As for this book’s value to travelers…..One of the downsides of reviewing audio books is that it is a lot more difficult for me to quote passages from the author. You’ll have to take my word for it, that even if you’re living in a more temperate climate than I am, you’ll be very tempted to take a road trip through Maine after you read Paul Doiron’s descriptions.
Note: MacMillan audio provided the audiobook for review, but that does not affect what I tell you about the book. Links here to Amazon make your shopping easier and earn a few cents for A Traveler’s Library. Thanks for shopping Amazon through my links. (It costs you no more.)