Two for the price of one

I recently read two of Joseph Heywood's Woods Cop Mysteries back-to-back. It's actually been a while since I read them so my memory may be a bit hazy but here are my thoughts on them.

Buckular Dystrophy

This was the tenth book in the series. 

"Buckular dystrophy" is a term coined by conservation officers to describe a kind of addiction to killing deer, not for sport or food, but seemingly just because they are there and because they can. The action takes place during Michigan's two-week firearm deer season when it seems that a lot of hunters go just a little bit crazy. During this time, game wardens are on duty all the time and have no personal life to call their own. 

In this instance, Game Warden Grady Service inexplicably takes on longtime violator Limpy Allerdyce as his partner. But it is actually a genius move because nobody knows violators like another violator and Limpy leads him into a bizarre series of cases involving deer. 

I particularly like these stories for their interesting descriptions of the landscape and wildlife of the Upper Peninsula and of some of the characters that live there. Heywood does spin a good yarn.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Chasing a Blond Moon

I actually read this book (which is #3 in the series) after the later book which I just described. I generally like to read series books in order but sometimes I just go rogue and that's what I did in this case.

The plot here was complicated and a bit hard for me to follow at times but here's what I can tell you about it: As an early book in the series, this one is still letting us get to know Grady Service. We learn that he's not just a man of the woods but also someone who knows a bit about wine and good food. He can cook! 

We learn that there is a woman in his life, Maridly Nantz. Also, he has a son from an earlier relationship, a son that he has only just learned about. The plot also involves a bit of politics, a state senator who is running for governor of the state. It is a heady mix and made for a robust tale. I think I will be reading more in this series.

My rating: 3 of 5 stars  


  1. This series sounds like a winner. I like the premise of the first one you mentioned.

    1. These are the fourth and fifth ones that I've read in the series and I've enjoyed them all. The main character is a conservation officer and seeing things from his perspective is very interesting.

  2. I've never heard of buckular dystrophy. It sounds like something that should cause a person to be hospitalized. Why would a person shoot a deer just because that person can shoot a deer? I can see that a person who is suffering from a disorder like this would make a great character for a mystery novel.

    1. Evidently the game wardens have their own vocabulary to describe some of the violators they deal with. Or at least Joseph Heywood gives them such a vocabulary.

  3. Buckular Dystrophy is certainly a unique and interesting title. I've never read anything by Heywood, but I do like mysteries where the main character is a game warden. :D

    1. Then you might enjoy this series. It has interesting characters and is generally well-written.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Poetry Sunday: Don't Hesitate by Mary Oliver

Overboard by Sara Paretsky: A review

The Investigator by John Sandford: A review