Book Review – Grand Lac by Carl Brookins

Grand Lac

Carl Brookins
File Size: 1779 KB
Print Length: 201 pages
Publisher: Brookins Books LLC (April 6, 2018)
Publication Date: April 6, 2018

BLURB: A small group of investors has purchased lots on a mountain on the outskirts of Grand Lac in northern Idaho. One dark night one of the investors, Jack Ketchum, gets drunk, climbs aboard a large bulldozer and carves a raw track of destruction down the mountainside though the property of each of the other owners. Days later Ketchum is found dead in a ravine, a large-caliber bullet hole in his chest.

When a local day trader, young Sam Black, is jailed for the murder, his mother, Edie Black, calls her cousin for help. Marjorie Kane, ex-exotic dancer, enlists the aid of her partner, Alan Lockem. The pair are independent special investigators who specialize in solving unusual and sometimes strange case.

The duo flies to Grand Lac to try to prove Sam innocent and catch the real killer. They quickly find themselves enmeshed in civic chicanery, corruption and other evils, which must be sorted out to save Sam from prison or worse.

REVIEW: This is a very satisfying read for mystery lovers. There is a large cast of characters, many of whom are suspects in the murder of Jack Ketchum, and Alan and Marjorie work well together to narrow that list down to one – the killer.

The opening chapter of the book introduces Alan and Marjorie quickly, yet I got a very good sense of who they are. One of my first thoughts about Alan was, aha, an older Travis McGee. For those of you not familiar with the John D. MacDonald books, McGee was an unlicensed investigator who helped people in all kinds of difficulties – sometimes getting paid and sometimes not. That’s the way Alan explained the work that he and Marjorie do.

I like this set of investigators, and I do hope that Brookins plans to write more stories featuring the duo. They are older than than most detectives, or amateur sleuths, without all the accompanying aches and pains, and I like that. They also come across as very clever and smart, just under the surface of an easy-going approach to interviewing people connected to the case.

The descriptions of Grand Lac and Idaho help the reader “see” the landscape and the lovely homes built in the community, but some of the descriptions went on too long for me. That may be just an issue with my personal reading tastes, I am always more anxious to stay with the characters and the mystery than hang around for a lengthy description of a house. Still, that did not keep me from finishing this engaging mystery.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Before he became a mystery writer and reviewer, Carl Brookins was a counselor and faculty member at Metropolitan State University in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Brookins and his wife are avid recreational sailors. He is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and Private Eye Writers of America. He can frequently be found touring bookstores and libraries with his companions-in-crime, The Minnesota Crime Wave.

He writes the sailing adventure series featuring Michael Tanner and Mary Whitney. The third novel is Old Silver. His new private investigator series features Sean NMI Sean, a short P.I. The first is titled The Case of the Greedy Lawyers. Brookins received a liberal arts degree from the University of Minnesota and studied for a MA in Communications at Michigan State University.

You can find out more about the author on his WEBSITE *  And follow him on FACEBOOK and TWITTER

Come back on Wednesday when Carl will be my guest. He is going to ruminate about being a writer, reviewer and critic. I love the word ruminate. For intellectuals, it means “to think deeply about something.” Another definition is “to chew the cud.” Perhaps one can chew on something while engaging in some deep thinking.



4 thoughts on “Book Review – Grand Lac by Carl Brookins”

  1. THANKS, Maryann! Emphasis because yes, Travis McGee was indeed my inspiration for this series. (answers another question, yes?) I decided to use one of my favorite characters,growing up, as the inspiration for a series rooted more in today’s society. America is aging and deserve crime fighters who are of their generation, don’t you think. Anyway, thanks for hosting me.

    1. You’re welcome, Carl. Travis McGee was one of my favorite characters back in the day, too. I loved the fact that he would do anything to help someone in desperate trouble who came to him almost as a last resort. And, yes, I do agree that America deserves aging detectives, especially those that come across as so physically able as your duo do. Not stumbling and bumbling their way toward solving a case, but being so smart and savvy.

  2. Older Americans, unless wealthy and ostentatious tend to be invisible to the rest of the populace, especially in public. How many remember that old white-haired guy ambling along the sidewalk, in nobody’s way? Yeah, that guy. Well, he’s a spy!

  3. Pingback: Talking About Writing With Carl Brookins – Maryann Writes

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