Our site will be undergoing maintenance from 6 a.m. - 6 p.m. ET on Saturday, May 20. During this time, Bookshop, checkout, and other features will be unavailable. We apologize for the inconvenience.
Cookies must be enabled to use this website.
Book Image Not Available Book Image Not Available
Book details
  • Genre:FICTION
  • SubGenre:Mystery & Detective / Historical
  • Language:English
  • Pages:312
  • Paperback ISBN:9781543961140

Murder At Town Meeting

by Wes Blauss

Book Image Not Available Book Image Not Available
Race. Real estate. A long forgotten burial account. In this dark satire on small-town politics, a decades' old secret resurfaces when several town officials and an endangered black-bottomed newt meet untimely ends at the hands of America's "purest form of democracy." Turning the mystery genre on its head, Murder at Town Meeting asks, through the template of a typical town meeting warrant, can we know for sure what we claim to know for certain? The who, the how, the how much, and the ladder truck ran down the police cruiser, why exactly?

In the small town of South Quagmire (just north of East Quagmire), a white 16-year-old sits in the non-voters' section of the middle school auditorium, narrating a play-by-play account of America's "purest form of democracy" for his school newspaper. His comic riff on race, real estate, Vietnam, ladder trucks, arson, autism, school bullying, sex, ducks, and local politics is interrupted when the town's moderator bangs his gavel twice and drops dead of an apparent heart attack, followed quickly by the loss of the fire chief beneath ambulance tires. November, 2007. Thirty-one years later, the partial recording is unearthed by a take-no-prisoners Town Clerk who continues her late friend's account of that night and subsequent months when several people and an endangered black-bottomed newt met untimely ends resulting from a failed real estate deal to purchase two thousand acres of Little Quagmire Swamp. As the teens uncover evidence pointing to a murderer, their efforts to protect him and his decades'-old secret come at a cost.

About the author
Selectman, middle school teacher, and first-time novelist Wes Blauss and his wife and fellow teacher Joanne split their time between his not-quite-fictional hometown of Hanson, Massachusetts, and Bethel, Maine, where they farm and ski with their son and daughter-in-law, both teachers, and three grandsons, He's written four plays on small town intrigues: End of the Season, Sons of Israel, Murder at Town Meeting, and Final Impressions. He's seen flipped tables, forged documents, clouded water rights, interdepartmental trysts, and an aerial search for an illegal piggery performed by characters universal in their appeal: condescending public employees, perjured elected officials, whistle blowers, perennial peace-brokers, and single-issue voters who will not succumb to gavel. The one thing he has not witnessed is an actual murder at town meeting, although the number of murders contemplated during a town meeting would probably astonish. This novel is his attempt to remedy that.