About Me

My photo
Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada
I am a lawyer in Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada who enjoys reading, especially mysteries. Since 2000 I have been writing personal book reviews. This blog includes my reviews, information on and interviews with authors and descriptions of mystery bookstores I have visited. I strive to review all Saskatchewan mysteries. Other Canadian mysteries are listed under the Rest of Canada. As a lawyer I am always interested in legal mysteries. I have a separate page for legal mysteries. Occasionally my reviews of legal mysteries comment on the legal reality of the mystery. You can follow the progression of my favourite authors with up to 15 reviews. Each year I select my favourites in "Bill's Best of ----". As well as current reviews I am posting reviews from 2000 to 2011. Below my most recent couple of posts are the posts of Saskatchewan mysteries I have reviewed alphabetically by author. If you only want a sentence or two description of the book and my recommendation when deciding whether to read the book look at the bold portion of the review. If you would like to email me the link to my email is on the profile page.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Silent Joe by T. Jefferson Parker

39. - 599.) Silent Joe by T. Jefferson Parker – Joe Trona is a superb character. A tall bright (photographic memory) strong young man of 24 his life is dominated by a badly scarred face from acid thrown on his face by his biological father, Tron, when he was 9 months old. Joe normally wears a hat to shadow his face. I thought of Voices where two primary characters had their lives defined, even dominated, by a traumatic childhood event.

Two of Joe’s most pronounced traits are politeness and respect. Joe calls men sir and says thank you. He engages in simple politeness. He does not swear. I am not sure what it says about crime fiction that Joe is unique because he is well-mannered and courteous. He is an honest direct man living in a world of devious conspiring men.

Set in Orange County in California Joe, by daytime is a county deputy. At night he is the driver and aide to his adoptive father, Will Trona, who is a member of the County Board of Supervisors.

Will has a complex life dealing with all the issues of a fast developing county where there are strong opinions on further development. By night he deals with the personal issues of his constituency.

Joe is helping Will drop off a bag. They go on to pick up an 11 year old girl, Savannah, there is a violent confrontation in which Will is killed. Joe sets off to find the killer.

Sweet silent Joe, as described by his adopted mother Mary Anne, pursues leads diligently but politely. Neither using aggressive language or violent action he gradually assembles information on what happened. He learns Savannah is the daughter of America’s 41st richest man, Jack Blazek. He pursues the leads among the rich and powerful of Orange County never flinching when pressed or promised until he solves the murder.

The plot unfolds smoothly. It is a wonderful mystery with an unconventional hero. It is an uncommon mystery where the lead character is physically unattractive. (July 19/11)


  1. Bill - As ever, thanks for this thoughtful review. And this novel takes place within easy driving distance of where I live, so as soon as I read your summary I was intrigued.

    I was also interested in another point you make - about a protagonist who puts a high premium on politeness, titles such as "sir" and not using salty language. You're quite right that many modern-day sleuths aren't like that. That kind of element makes for an unusual kind of sleuth and that adds to the interest in this book...

  2. Margot: Thank you for the generous comment.

    I find a special enjoyment in knowing the setting of a mystery.

    Would that a well mannered sleuth not be unique.