Sunday, July 1, 2012

Beehive Round, by Martin Limón

"Beehive Round" by Martin Limón, in Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, September 2012.

I remember Martin at an MWA-NW meeting in Seattle many years ago telling us that his novel Jade Lady Burning was being published.  That book, and all those that have followed, are about two CID officers (army detectives) in Korea in the mid-seventies.

So when I started this story and saw that it was set in the same time and place I was patienly expecting Sergeants Sueño and Bascom to arrive.  They don't.  The crime this time is solved by Vern Kruckman, a newly-retired sergeant. 

Like the cliche of the retired firehorse reacting to a bell, Kruckman leaps out of bed when an alert is sigalled.  Unable to sleep he goes outside and this puts him in the right place at the right time to discover a murder.  Both the Korean police and the U.S. army would be happy to cover it up for their own reasons, but Kruckman, with time on his hands, and a sense of duty to the other soldiers, keeps after it.

Limón is a master of setting.  He gives you all the details you need to believe in this foreign and forty-year old situation.

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