See Also Proof
This is the third book in Larry Sweazy’s mystery series featuring Marjorie Trumaine, who works as a freelance book indexer while running a farm outside Dickinson, North Dakota, in 1965. Marjorie is grieving the recent death of her husband after a hunting accident. In the middle of a bitterly cold winter, a neighbor’s teenage daughter, who has what we now call Down Syndrome, disappears, and Marjorie helps the recently elected sheriff look for her. But instead of the missing girl, Marjorie finds the dead body of grocery store manager Nils Jacobsen, a man everyone liked, as far as Marjorie knows. She realizes that the girl’s disappearance and Nils’ murder are connected, but she does not know how. On an errand to the Grafton State School, where the girl had spent most of her life, Marjorie discovers an important clue. But, on the way home, someone tries to run her off the road and she becomes stranded in a blizzard. Will Marjorie survive to tell the sheriff what she knows?
See Also Proof is filled with rich details about life in rural North Dakota in the 1960s. You can feel the subzero temperatures and see the blankets of snow coming down. Marjorie is a strong woman who knows how to survive on an isolated farm in a harsh climate. She has a very orderly mind, and she makes lists of clues and suspects the way she would organize entries in an index. The details of what goes into indexing a book are fascinating. Few people realize what hard work it is. We also learn of the horrors children with disabilities experienced as they were forced to live in institutions and undergo medical procedures. I highly recommend the series, but it is best to begin with the first book, See Also Murder.