I love the way that Loomis weaves themes throughout the book you can tell he is a poet from this Honestly, I wasn t expecting as much fire as was in the book, but I loved the way it was described and, with all the characters there are in the book, he does a great job keeping the characters memorable, with their own place in Provincetown or the surrounding area The tension in this book made it difficult to put down A thriller mystery incredibly refreshing I thoroughly enjoyed this book I already picked up High Season from the library I m totally biased about this book I know the author and his wife, they are professors at the university I attend ed both talented and a joy to know This has never really happened to me before it s freaking awesome. Frank Coffin, police detective and interim chief of Provincetown, Massachusetts, is undergoing a lifestyle change As a typical middle aged man who s mind tells him he s invincible while his body reminds him of his mortality, Coffin is attempting to eat better, exercise , and quit smoking He s been recognized for his dedication to his job, is surrounded by supportive friends, and his girlfriend has just revealed that she is pregnant with his child As the tourist season draws to a close, life is good for Frank Coffin With all this considered, he has decided he would like to live a little bit longer to enjoy it.Of course, the quiet off season is soon interrupted It all begins when an arsonist sets fire to a dumpster As fires begin to pot up around the city, Coffin attempts to catch the arsonist before he escalates to burning down the small town and killing anyone who stands in his way.Even troubling is the mental state of Coffins cousin Tom, who is also one of his police officers For years, Provincetown has fostered rumblings of UFO s in the surrounding area Locals remain divided on the issue, but Frank becomes directly involved in the matter as Tom begins to speak of his own sightings As he rambles about being abducted by the invaders, Frank must find a way to ease his cousin s fears and stop the arsonist before the entire town goes mad.I was very impressed with this novel While it is certainly not the biggest or most ambitious mystery that I ve read, I really appreciated Loomis s subtle way of crafting this delightful story Frank Coffin immediately comes off as a kind of every man who is easy to root for Provincetown has the perfect combination of small town setting and quirky characters, allowing a sense of reality to permeate the story Loomis writes with a refreshingly frank style that makes this novel a quick, suspense driven read. I like this author and his funny hero Humorous crime fiction is hard to pull off We re leaving Donald Westlake out of this discussion He could make anything work, from Dortmunder to Parker El Leonard has a reputation for being funny, but, with the possible exception of Get Shorty, his books aren t written to be funny The humor is endemic to the situation, and to the intellectual capacity of the characters, who are most often inadvertently funny The characters, I mean Leonard has no accidents in his writing A lot of authors try to write tongue in cheek crime fiction none blends the elements better than Jon Loomis His Frank Coffin mysteries never make light of the seriousness of the crimes, but juxtapose them against what may be absurd conditions to create a unique atmosphere.Loomis s newest is Fire Season The book opens with the killing of a restaurant s tame seals, kept in their own tank near the beach as a tourist attraction in Provincetown, Massachusetts Soon a series of increasingly serious arson fires breaks out, and a local doctor is found dead in gruesome fashion Whether any of these are related is a key element of the story, so we re not going to discuss it here There are two keys to the success of Loomis s stories, and Fire Season is no exception First is Coffin, a Provincetown detective and acting chief of police He worked homicide in Balti for several years, finally leaving because he d developed a phobia about corpses He returned to his native Provincetown to get away from that, but they insist on popping up in the least expected places His girlfriend is pregnant and hyperaware of things, and his mother is suffering from Alzheimer s, which leaves her prone to what she thinks of as pranks and the other residents of her nursing home consider terrorist acts.The other thing the series could not exist without is Provincetown as a setting The town on the farthest tip of Cape Cod, always a summer tourist attraction, has become an enclave for the LGBT community, often flamboyantly so It s P town that makes the humor work, as the bizarre settings allow Loomis to make the comedy endemic to the scene without diminishing the seriousness of the situation Everything is held together by Loomis s acceptance of everyone in Provincetown as they are He never condescends of make fun of them, rather welcomes them as the engine that makes his stories fun to read How do you make murder scene interviews funny without minimizing the brutality of the crime Interview half a dozen Tall Ships male transvestites in various stages of undress, and capture their side conversations.Coffin is not alone The supporting cast than carries its weight Even those who aren t P town crazies realize they live in a sometimes surreal environment, and make their decisions accordingly The normal rules of logic don t always apply in Loomis s Provincetown, but Loomis sticks to the rules he has created so the reader never feels cheated, but also never quite sure how each event will be received.Fire Season is the third Frank Coffin mystery, after High Season and Mating Season, both of which are also highly recommended Especially the premiere, High Season Enough loose ends are left for the characters to carry on should Loomis decide to keep writing them Let s hope so He s carved out a unique niche in crime fiction It would be a shame to lose it. As he tries to solve the mystery of some dead seals, a serial arsonist, and the murder of a local doctor whose head was found in the lobster tank of a local restaurant, the eternally put upon Frank Coffin, acting chief of the Provincetown, Mass Police Department, deals with a number of offbeat characters including his shady uncle Rudy a patrolman who thinks he s being abducted by aliens and a flotilla of drag queens locally known as the Tall Ships Coffin s an engaging character, a good natured Everyman who provides the perfect foil for the quirky ensemble around him Jon Loomis deftly keeps the light and the dark elements in balance in this comic murder mystery, and that s a lot harder than it looks Recommended. Strongest point of the book is the local setting I ve never been to P town, but feel as though I know that place fairly well after three stories set there Coffin himself is quite a likeable fellow, and Lola makes for a terrific partner I m not that keen on Uncle Rudy, the big time crook, but he is what he is Unfortunately, Coffin s girlfriend Jaimie really mars the experience each time for me, with her ticking biological clock previously, she had threatened to leave Coffin if he wouldn t impregnate her people use a stronger word to describe him, but I ll stick with wuss here As for the queer angle, sometimes it felt as though the straight author was trying a bit too hard, though I do like Coffin s best only friend Kotowski The rest of the LGBT s are presented as either cross dressers or stereotypical gay guys I grew very tired of the term Tall Ship by the end of the book.Bottom line Loomis ought to end the series here, as a trilogy If it continues, I m not sure if I could deal with of Jaimie s attitude. After some one shot to death innocent seals and no one was caught, numerous fires sprung out in P town Massachusetts Detective Frank Coffin and his partner had a devil of a time keeping up as the arsonist was determined to burn down their town structure by structure The Frank s cousin and a police officer went nuts and ended up in a mental hospital for seeing aliens and Frank is sleep depraved with having to be at every case and then he has to find out where the body was when some one placed a man s head in a lobster tank Jon Loomis spins a fast paced incredibly funny mystery story that kept me amused and on the edge of my seat Frank Coffin is Acting Police Chief of Provincetown and his long time girlfriend, Jamie is pregnant Someone has shot the domesticated seals at a local restaurant A severed head is found in the lobster tank of another And someone is setting fires that are rapidly escalating in severity This is not what Frank signed on for but he means to stop it Provincetown is already crazy enough The wacky world unto itself that is P Town, a cast of characters that could only come from there, and some mysterious UFOs all combine with an intriguing mystery to provide a highly entertaining reading romp. Beleaguered Police Detective Frank Coffin Is On The Trail Of A Firebug In Fire Season, The Third In This Sharply Witty Mystery Series Set In Provincetown, Massachusetts Until A Replacement Can Be Found, Frank Coffin Is Pulling Double Duty As A Detective And Interim Police Chief For The Provincetown, Mass Police The Off Season Has Just Started For This Tourist Town And The Streets Should Be Quiet But They Re NotWhen Three Fires Are Sparked In Quick Succession, It Looks Like There S A Firebug On The Loose A Firebug Who Doesn T Care Who He Hurts With A Deputy Terrified Of UFOs, A Severed Head In A Lobster Tank, And The Fact That Frank S Mother Is Setting Some Fires Of Her Own, It S Another Busy Season In P Town In Fire Season, An Excellent Addition To Jon Loomis Acclaimed Series I got this from ILL by accident, I ordered a different Fire Season but go this one instead, but I ended up really enjoying it First off, spent many summers on Cape Cod so it was good to hear about some of the places I knew Second, the characters really were funny, the author does a great job with dialogue that brings the characters to life This is my first Frank Coffin mystery, and I had no trouble keeping up with the characters I am going to go back and read the previous books Especially loved the description of the artist Kotowski s Frog March on page 167what an intriguing character Looking forward to from Jon Loomis.
Jon Loomis is an American poet and writer He is a professor of English at the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire Vanitas Motel, his first book of poetry, won the 1997 annual FIELD prize in poetry He is also the author of the Frank Coffin mysteries set in Provincetown, MA.
- 320 pages
- Fire Season (Frank Coffin Mysteries, #3)
- Jon Loomis
- 21 February 2019 Jon Loomis