Monday, May 7, 2012

SPOOKY STUFF IS AFOOT IN THE U.P. (Book Review: A Cold Winter's Deathe by Mark Wolfgang)

Mark Wolfgang will be signing books on Saturday from 2-4 PM at
Bestsellers Books and Coffee, 360 S. Jefferson St. Mason.
Expect the unexpected in the latest book by Mason author Mark Wolfgang.

"A Cold Winter's Deathe" (Sudden Deathe Press, $12.95) is a slim, attractively designed, self-published paperback that's the second in his unusual "Yoopernatural Mystery" series.

The intriguing sequal to "Bedderhoff Dead" is strangely fascinating, as it features a variety of oddball characters placed in bizarre situations.

Set in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, Wolfgang's novels are completely different from other more familiar writers who use the same locale, such as Robert Traver, Steve Hamilton or Joseph Heywood.

The action takes place in the middle of winter in the fictional village of Deathe. The main character, Ron Blank, an electrician at the local junior college, thinks he's seeing things when he spots a small "invisible man" stealing drinks at the local bar.

It gets even stranger when Blank gets into a major confrontation in the bar with Carl Rowley, the hulking town bully.

Michigan State Police Trooper Alice Louise Dubose, who's trapped in the area due to a blinding snowstorm, is initially of little help. The "invisible man" turns out to be a visiting vampire hunter; soon Blank accompanies him to a local cemetery in search of answers.

Blank, who's restoring a derelict huge old mansion, the Cavendish Manor, has problems of his own. He's staying at a rooming house in town, where he encounters Julianna, a mysterious beautiful woman who's new to the area.

Wolfgang's tale gets more complicated as a related death occurs; Dubose discovers more unnerving information and other odd paranormal events take place.

The vampire hunter has hidden motives and unusual weapons; there's lots of dangerous snowmobile action. Dubose joins the town's sheriff in investigating the disappearance of a corpse; she has a battle with a giant, deadly "Masticator".

The reader is likely to get a hint of the scope of the uniqueness of this book by catching the long disclaimer on the back of the title page that notes: "...No resemblance to any real person, living , dead, undead, incorporeal, spiritual, metaphysical, unhinged, hinged or otherwise familiar to the reader is purely unintentional. They might, however be conglomerations of people and traits..."

At least two more books in this series are planned; more information is available at the author's website:

Ray Walsh, owner of East Lansing's Curious Book Shop,
has reviewed crime novels and Michigan books regularly since 1987.

This review was originally published by the Lansing State Journal
on Sunday, May 6, 2012.

1 comment:

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