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Dead Drunk

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Product DetailsDead Drunk
By Jean Ayer
Create Space
Retail Price:  $14.95
Amazon Price:  $12.17

Book Description:


An intriguing detective mystery novel set in a summer resort town on the coast of Maine in the 1980s, Dead Drunk evolved from the actual story of the author’s life with her upper crust alcoholic husband and their dysfunctional family and friends. The perspectives of seasonal residents, as well as the local people who work for them, give a glimpse of ‘how the other half lives.’ Much of the story is told from the point of view of the sympathetic barman, Richard, during and after parties at the family “cottage,” Alderwood. For years he has catered at the big old cottages of the wealthy summer community, and so has come to know these people, their eccentricities, and something of their relationships with the peculiar family at Alderwood. Richard remembers the erratic behavior of his own alcoholic father. He is still haunted by the memory of its heart-wrenching effects on his mother, so he understands the quirky, seemingly inexplicable behavior of this family. He empathizes particularly with the plight of the children. They suffer from their father’s verbal aggression, the traumatic effects of which are vividly portrayed. The father’s transgressions are well hidden by his seemingly immaculate social persona, yet friends of the family bear witness to the gradual degeneration of the his character. His behavior has become increasingly spiteful and erratic. The children’s distress is profound. In one case, it is utterly devastating. One of the summer crowd dies unexpectedly after a party for which Richard catered at Alderwood. Despite the nonchalance of his clients, Richard is so disturbed that he feels compelled to make meticulous notes after the party. He becomes obsessed by the mystery, and analyzes the events of that evening. He seems to be the only one to suspect foul play . . . until the dead man’s contentious, meddling sister-in-law, who knows a good deal about the hidden dramas of the Alderwood crowd, calls in a police detective. The investigation turns up many bones from the closets of this disturbed family and its circle of friends. Richard’s insight and inside knowledge further illuminate the enormity of the group’s dysfunction, despite their affectations of propriety. His first-hand account proves invaluable in the pursuit of the surprising solution to the case.


The plot of this mystery novel is laid out for us from the perspective of a bartender who has worked in the background for a wealthy family for years.  I found this to be a unique and intriguing voice.  While I don’t truly understand high society, the author took great pains with details and background to get the author up to speed on the world of the rich and famous.  Her characters were intriguing and a bit creepy, reminding us that things (and people) are not always what they seem.  They mystery was not easy to figure out, engaging the reader, and making the book hard to put down.  I thought it was a great read.

~Reviewed by Allie B.

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