The Pot Thief Blog has been inactive since the end of the Murder We Write blog tour on December 9. After 14 days of posting blogs on other sites while simultaneously hosting other mystery writers for 14 days on this site, I couldn't bear to hear the word blog, much less do something on on. Then Lai and I left three days later for a month in our apartment in New York City. We enjoyed the Christmas displays in the big stores, saw the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Special, went to the museums and galleries, saw Billy Elliot, a great musical, visited with friends and relatives and lived the carefree life in our cozy pied-a-terre. Cozy? Try 350 square feet with a Murphy bed. Hey, we're lucky to have anything in Manhattan. If it were on the market today, we couldn't afford it.
We returned just in time for the start of the spring semester. Lai had to turn her attention to teaching, and I had to turn my attention to treating a head cold with the staying power of a triathlete. When I finally got well enough to read, I treated myself to a pre-publication copy of F. M. Meredith's latest. So I'm restarting the blog today with a review.
Fans of F. M. Meredith’s long-running Rocky Bluff Police Department mysteries will be happy to learn the newest book may be the best yet. In No Bells, Gordon Butler gets his first leading role in this clever ensemble series. Butler is like Joe Btfsplk, the cartoon character in Al Capp’s Li’l Abner, a poor sap for whom things never quite work out. Meredith’s plot – her best yet – is a perfect fit for the character. Without giving away too much, he wins but he loses. It’s a very satisfying read, and the meaning of the title is not revealed until the end. No Bells is a tightly woven story. Just when you think you know “whodunit,” something happens to change your mind. Then you go back to your first guess. Then a different hunch arises. As always, every member of the Rocky Bluff PD and their family members has a speaking part as their personal lives and police issues give us another glimpse of a town we love to visit.