Review: The Less Than Spectacular Times of Henry Milch (The Wyandot County Mysteries #1) by Marshall Thornton

Rating: 4 🌈

Marshall Thornton is a great writer and a favorite author of mine. So I was happy to see a new story in a brand new series just released from him.

The Less Than Spectacular Times of Henry Milch has many of the terrific elements I expect from a Marshall Thornton book. It has a well developed sense of era, in this case the 2000’s, right down to the historical political events and the technology , like iPods, which to our jaded eyes is downright old fashioned. There’s Britney, Irag wars, the fashion of the era… and yes, the drugs…including opioids.

Thornton has always been able to make an era and location not only recognizable but believable, pulling a reader into whatever decade he’s locating his series and characters. It works beautifully for Boystown and Pinx Video, and again here for The Wyandot County Mysteries.

The county, the people, and even the mystery, are all extremely well crafted, with that care to detail that this author does so well.

It’s realistic and believable. I just wish I liked the book better. I don’t. I couldn’t wait to finish it and say goodbye to these characters. Well except for the dog maybe.

Why?

Because unlike the other series I mentioned above, I disliked the characters here, especially the main one, Henry “Mooch” Milch. Yes, his nickname is Mooch, that’s a hint. But he’s such an unappealing character, that no one in the book likes him either, except the dog. He’s been sent to his grandmother’s place in Wyandot County, MIchigan because he overdosed on opioids so it was that or rehab. He chose Grandma rather than get straight.

For the rest of the novel he proceeds to rifle through peoples bathroom cabinets and drawers, stealing prescription drugs, to feed a growing habit he’s refusing to recognize. All the while pronouncing judgements on everything. He decided to solve a mystery, because he wanted to money to leave town, not because it’s the thing that actually needed doing.

I could continue but you get my drift. He’s just an unlikable man who stays that way. And he’s surrounded by them, including Grandma, Emma. These characters are realistically crafted, layered and understandable.

Just not people I want to spend time with.

Which they kind of have to be if I want to read a story.

The other series Thornton wrote had characters that broke my heart while making me love them ever so deeply.

This one, however well written , makes me want to say good luck and goodbye.

If this series is something that sounds like it’s something that’s in your wheelhouse, than a Marshall Thornton story and mystery is it for you.

https://www.goodreads.com › showThe Less Than Spectacular Times of Henry Milch by Marshall Thornton – Goodreads

Synopsis:

A new mystery series from the award-winning author of the Boystown and Pinx Mystery series.

Things have not been going well for Henry Milch. After a Saturday night clubbing in his beloved West Hollywood, he took one pill too many and ended up banished to northern lower Michigan to live on a farm with his ultra-conservative grandmother. It was that or rehab. While working a part-time job for the local land conservancy he stumbles across a dead body in the snow—as if things couldn’t get worse. But then things take a turn for the better, there’s a reward for information leading the man’s killer. All Henry has to do is find the murderer, claim the reward and he can go back to his real life in L.A.

By Scattered Thoughts

At over 50, I am ruled by my terriers, my gardens, and my projects. A knack for grubbing about in the woods, making mud pies, and tending to the injured worms, bugs, and occasional bird and turtle growing up eventually led me to working for the Parks. I was a park Naturalist for over 20 years, and observing Nature and her cycles still occupy my hours. From the arrival of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in the Spring to the first call of the Snow Geese heading south in the Fall, I am entranced by the seasons. For more about me see my bio on my blog.

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