The Man Who Liked Slow Tomatoes-A Mario Balzic Detective Novel-K.C. Constantine

Dec 2, 2010

This is an older mystery, one I read shortly after it was first published in 1983, but it has stuck with me for many years, so when I recently found the library had a newly published edition, I reread it.  I was not disappointed--the characters inhabiting the small, terminally ill coal-mining town in Pennsylvania are still the rock solid working class, some of whom are immigrants and some first-generation Americans decended from their Italian and Polish parents.  The struggle to rise beyond the coal mines and unemployment are leading some of the residents to investigate  earning money in some shady operatons, while others are seeking to move beyond the constrictions of  their town, trying to find a door through education and a decent job.  Mario Balzic, the chief of police, likes his wine (too much) and painstakingly puts together small clues, relationships, and his own observations to solve the petty and major crimes, dealing all the time with his own failings and impetuousness, which can get in his way.  The characters are intriguing and very real, and the dialogue is salty and true to life. Very satisfying reading!�

Reviewed by Library Staff