By David Rosenfelt
Minotaur Books, 2012
362 pages, $24.99
ISBN 978-0-312-64804-6
Andy Carpenter is a rich, wise-cracking New Jersey defense attorney who doesn’t work very often, preferring instead to visit his many former clients who are in prison.  However, Andy agrees to do a favor for one former client who was convicted of a double homicide, and that favor turns out to be a big mistake.

LEADER OF THE PACK is award-winning Maine author David Rosenfelt’s 10th mystery novel featuring hot-shot lawyer Andy Carpenter.  This exciting crime-thriller follows his outstanding stand-alone mystery, HEART OF A KILLER (Minotaur, 2012).

Rosenfelt’s previous career in the Hollywood filmmaking and television production business gives him an edge as a writer because he knows well how to create tightly wrapped mysteries loaded with suspenseful plots, convincing and colorful characters, fast-paced action and snappy, believable dialogue.  For mystery readers with high expectations, Rosenfelt delivers.

Joey Desimone is the son of a Mafia crime boss, serving a life sentence for a double homicide committed nine years ago.  Andy was his defense attorney and he feels a bit guilty he didn’t do a better job at Joey’s trial, and he still believes Joey is innocent. As a favor, Andy meets with Joey’s uncle, Nicky Fats, and a chance comment inspires Andy to seek a new trial for Joey.

Andy uncovers stunning exculpatory evidence and prosecutorial misconduct, resulting in a new investigation and a new trial. Unfortunately, two sinister forces do not want Joey released from prison and they will do anything to prevent that possibility.

Add attempted assassinations, mass murder, a diabolical smuggling scheme, kidnapping, Mafia thugs and corrupt government officials, as well as solid investigative techniques and fascinating courtroom drama, and Rosenfelt has another sure hit. 

And you’ll never expect the surprise ending.

Edited by Richard Cheek
Historic New England, 2012
240 pages, $34.95
ISBN 978-0-88448-338-0
Lobsters may be what tourists want to eat, but lighthouses are what they come to see. Maine’s 60-plus lighthouses offer a wealth of picturesque beauty, fascinating history and an unparalleled attraction for artists, photographers, writers, poets, businessmen and the curious.

FROM GUIDING LIGHTS TO BEACONS OF BUSINESS is a heavy paper, glossy and beautifully illustrated history of Maine’s lighthouses with seven contributors providing 10 essays on everything from lighthouse architecture, navigational uses and keepers’ lives to the art, literature and commercial uses of this iconic nautical feature.

This quality production is the third book in the Historic New England series, following THE CAMERA’S COAST in 2006 and AMERICA’S KITCHENS in 2008.  The contributors are scholars, historians, architects, photographers and writers whose entertaining and informative essays are well-crafted, humorous and insightful.

W.H. Bunting’s excellent essay describes the role lighthouses play in coastal navigation, telling of hazards to mariners of shipwrecks, shoal waters, bad weather, fog and storms, hidden underwater ledges, and how the lights and their attendant fog signals and horns save lives.

Timothy Harrison tells of the loneliness, dangers, hard work and long hours for keepers and their families, and David Richards provides perspective on the phenomenon of how lighthouses became such a popular tourist attraction.

Other essays reveal the significance of lighthouses in religion (“the guiding light of God”) in art, photography, literature and business, as well as the preservation efforts of private citizens and nonprofit organizations.

Best is Kirk Mohney’s essay, “Shaping the Towers,” an outstanding description of lighthouse architecture, including design, materials, construction techniques (and some unique challenges) from the first lighthouse built in Maine in 1790 (Portland Head Light) to the last built in 1910 (Whitlock’s Mill Light Station).

— Bill Bushnell lives and writes in Harpswell

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: