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David A. Crossman

Autor(a) de A Show of Hands

11 Works 89 Membros 2 Críticas

About the Author

David Crossman, who was born and raised on an island off the Maine coast, says, "Islands breed two things: writers and secrets." He is the author of three adult mysteries -- Murder in a Minor Key, A Show of Hands, and The Dead of Winter -- as well as The Secret of the Missing Grave, the first in mostrar mais the Bean and Ab series of young adult mysteries. He has lived all over the world, pursuing careers as an advertising copywriter, creative director, graphic artist, and television producer. An accomplished artist, Crossman is also a musician and composer with five albums to his credit. He and his wife, Barbara, live in Friendship, Maine mostrar menos

Includes the name: David Crossman


Obras por David A. Crossman


Conhecimento Comum

Local de nascimento
Vinalhaven, Maine, USA



Having been born in Maine, lived in exile reading about Maine for many years, and moved back here a few years ago, I thought I'd have some trouble finding a Maine mystery by an author I hadn't read before. But's Location Index didn't fail me, giving me several choices available at my local library. I chose this one. It appears that Mr. Crossman has written no adult books since 1999, which is too bad. I enjoyed this one enough that I will seek out his first Winston Crisp mystery and his standalone.

Winston Crisp is a retired National Security Agency agent, well into his eighties when the story takes place, in 1970. The setting, nearly 30 years before publication and presumably writing of the book, is necessary for the plot, which deals with a present-day murder with ties to World Wars I and II and the time between them. It also means that there are no cell phones, emails or Internet to deal with -- all the research in the story is done in library archives or by asking long-time island residents for their memories. The plot of The Dead of Winter is rather convoluted, and the surprise appearance of a second culprit at the end could be faulted. But what I really loved about the book were the setting and characters. The descriptions of the island in Penobscot Bay, socked in by a winter storm, cooled me off in the midst of an August heat wave. The dialogue, which was true-to-life without being overdone, was full of salty expressions and metaphors, which offered both authentic local color and comic relief to a rather grim storyline. I'd recommend this, if you can get hold of a copy.
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auntieknickers | Apr 3, 2013 |
This really isn't a bad book, and I suspect that had I read it when I fit into the book's target audience (middle-school readers, or about there somewhere) I probably would have given it 3 stars instead of two. However, as a somewhat older and (I like to think!) more mature reader, some of the glaring problems with Mr. Crossman's writing style and characterizations stood out to me.

First, the writing style tends to be unnecessarily mechanical. Since this is the first book in the series, it's possible it was his first book written, which would explain some of the missteps. The book relies heavily on the word "stated", resulting in a lot of the characters' conversations sounding flat and emotionless.

Secondly, the characters repeatedly make choices I couldn't make heads or tails of. Since our protagonists Bean and Ab are pretty young, I expect them to make stupid mistakes. But it's the adults that make too many ridiculous decisions, apparently for the sake of advancing plot.

At one point, an adult man agrees with our twelve-year-old protagonist's plan to crawl into a tiny, sealed-off room with no windows and a secret door and light a fire while they are still inside it. This nearly takes a turn for the worst. (Because who could've seen that coming?) Still, rather than take some responsibility for parenting their children, the adults decide it's best to keep Bean and Ab from ever seeing each other again. (The fact that the neighbors are brought in on this discussion is also kind of a bizarre decision. Are these people devoting so much time to parenting that they need reinforcements?) They don't actually spend any time watching the kids, mind you, but just assume their word is law. (And weirdly enough, it is. How many middle schoolers do YOU know who listen to their parents?)

The mystery itself was nice and twisty, though, and I can see how the series may very well improve with the later books if Mr. Crossman's writing style becomes more natural.
… (mais)
Becky_Jean | Mar 31, 2013 |


½ 3.6
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