Archer Mayor Books In Order

Joe Gunther Books In Publication Order

  1. Open Season (1988)
  2. Borderlines (1990)
  3. Scent of Evil (1991)
  4. The Skeleton’s Knee (1992)
  5. Fruits of the Poisonous Tree (1993)
  6. The Dark Root (1994)
  7. The Ragman’s Memory (1995)
  8. Bellows Falls (1996)
  9. The Disposable Man (1997)
  10. Occam’s Razor (1999)
  11. The Marble Mask (2000)
  12. Tucker Peak (2001)
  13. The Sniper’s Wife (2002)
  14. Gatekeeper (2003)
  15. The Surrogate Thief (2004)
  16. St. Albans Fire (2005)
  17. The Second Mouse (2006)
  18. Chat (2007)
  19. The Catch (2008)
  20. The Price of Malice (2009)
  21. Red Herring (2010)
  22. Tag Man (2011)
  23. Paradise City (2012)
  24. Three Can Keep a Secret (2013)
  25. Proof Positive (2014)
  26. The Company She Kept (2015)
  27. Presumption of Guilt (2017)
  28. Trace (2017)
  29. Bury the Lead (2018)
  30. Bomber’s Moon (2019)
  31. The Orphan’s Guilt (2020)
  32. Marked Man (2021)

Joe Gunther Short Stories/Novellas In Publication Order

  1. Snow Blind (2012)
  2. Crosscut (2019)

Non-Fiction Books In Publication Order

  1. Southern Timberman (1988)

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Joe Gunther Short Stories/Novellas Book Covers

Non-Fiction Book Covers

Archer Mayor Books Overview

Open Season

Investigating a shooting incident that appears to be a set up, Detective Joe Gunther discovers that the shooter and victim were co jurors for a sensational murder trial three years earlier, and that someone wants the case reopened. NYT. PW.


The second novel in the Joe Gunther re release promotion finds Gunther in Gannet, Vermont. The quiet town is rocked by violence and murder when five members of a back to nature cult die in a suspicious fire.

Scent of Evil

Lieutenant Joe Gunther, determined to discover the murderer of young stockbroker Charles Jardine, finds a set of suspicious footprints and three more dead bodies in the peaceful town of Brattleboro, Vermont. PW. K.

The Skeleton’s Knee

When Joe Gunther looks into the death of an old Vermont hermit, he finds a skeleton buried in the back yard that seems to have been there for 15 years…
and the skeleton has an artificial knee! The mystery behind The Skeleton’s Knee leads Gunther on a terrifying trip to Chicago’s mean streets.

Fruits of the Poisonous Tree

When his lover, Gail, is savagely raped, Brattleboro detective Joe Gunther is devastated and ruthlessly searches for answers, and his quest embroils him with a conniving attorney, a sensational media, and a convicted rapist. NYT.

The Dark Root

Linking a series of seemingly unrelated crimes to a Vietnamese gangster’s campaign to take over a Chinese mob’s operation in Vermont, Brattleboro Police Lieutenant Joe Gunther pulls out all the stops including calling in the FBI. When Gunther’s friend is wounded and one of his officers is murdered, his determination veers toward obsession as he joins the feds in a war that crosses the border into Canada for a final showdown in Montreal.

The Ragman’s Memory

It begins with an abandoned birds nest a nest made of hair human hair. Who is the victim? And what is the cause of death? A trail of grisly clues leads Lt. Joe Gunther to discover the victim’s identity: a teenaged girl from the wrong side of the tracks. Searching for the truth, the investigation leads from the baseme*nt dives of Brattleboro to the mansions of its leading citizens. But the key to it all lies locked in the mind of World War II veteran. Now Gunther must find a way to open up The Ragman’s Memory
before a killer strikes again.’A pleasure…
Mr. Mayor has created an intelligent, gentle, and feeling human being in Gunther…
.A lovely way to spend a few hours’. Washington Times’By practicing his craft with dazzling skill and by digging for deeper moral issues behind every grassroots crime he has made an honorable art form of the regional mystery’. The New York Times Book Review’Fascinating…
the Joe Gunther novels are among the best mysteries being written today’. Booklist starred reviewHere is the seventh in the acclaimed series of police procedurals by Archer Mayor.

Bellows Falls

A minor Internal Affairs investigation leads detective Joe Gunther to the hard luck town of Bellows Falls, Vermont. Soon, rumors of police corruption, drug dealing, spousal abuse, and murder spread through the streets. As Gunther struggles to separate fact from fiction, he uncovers a regional narcotics network and must take a calculated risk to expose the criminals.

The Disposable Man

The body fished from a local quarry yields few identifying clues, but Vermont police detective Joe Gunther knows he’s onto something big when the CIA and the Russian Mafia take an interest in the case and he is framed for a crime he did not commit. AB.

Occam’s Razor

The man lies dead in the middle of the railroad tracks, head and hands amputated by an onrushing freight train. Dressed in tattered clothes, he looks like a vagrant. Yet Gunther is suspicious. Why would a bum in dirty rags wear crisp white underwear? And what’s with the odd sores, which, according to the lab boys, come from exposure to toxic chemicals rather than poor hygiene? Gunther’s doubts are soon confirmed when an abandoned vehicle turns up north of town leaking hazardous materials. Several witnesses surface, and all vouch that they saw three men in a dark sedan with no lights or visible license plates, and that the victim looked dead, drugged, or unconscious. None of them heard so much as a single sound. Not a shout. Not a shot. Nothing. Even as Gunther begins to investigate, another grisly slaying rocks Brattleboro. First a thirtyish woman is savagely knifed to death. Then an anonymous phone call links a local politician to both the woman’s murder and the killing on the rails. At a loss, Gunther is reminded of an old philosophical adage Occam’s Razor which advises that too many theories can muddle clear thinking. But clarity’s hard to achieve when you’re grappling with homicides, an excess of crossover witnesses, and a grab bag of sleazy lowlifes, ruthless blackmail, a mysterious woman, and a political contest driven by a poisonous thirst for power that would do the Borgias proud.

The Marble Mask

Joe Gunther, a Brattleboro, Vermont, cop, is the head of the new VermontBureau of Investigation VBI, a joint task force charged with statewideresponsibility for major crimes. In The Marble Mask, the VBI’s first casetakes the force north to Stowe, where a 50 year old corpse has turned up in acrevasse on Mt. Mansfield. Some of the more interesting minor characters inauthor Archer Mayor’s long running series about the amiable elder sleuth makereturn appearances here as Joe’s teammates like one armed Willy, a former wife beater who’s now playing footsie with Sammie Martens, one of Joe’s favoritecolleagues. When the frozen stiff turns out to be a formerly big time Canadiancrime boss named Jean Deschamps, who disappeared after World War II, Joe and hisgang cross the border to work with the Mounties, the S ret , and the local copsin Sherbrooke, where Deschamps’s son Marcel is involved in a turf war with theHell’s Angels and a rival gang of thugs. Old secrets and intrigues come tolight while an intricate plan to frame a dying man for a crime half a centuryold forms an interesting puzzle that’s not fully revealed until the last coupleof pages. Mayor excels at painting a picture of a time and place that’s as authentic asmaple syrup, and in Joe he’s created a Cooperesque character who’s almost asenigmatic as the mist shrouded mountains of his beloved state. Skiers who’veschussed down Stowe’s fabled slopes will enjoy Mayor’s recreation of the town inits bygone era as well as the description of its renaissance as a majortourist attraction today. Joe doesn’t change much from book to book, but that’sfine with Mayor’s fans. He’s a good cop, a quiet hero, a reliable guy, and his11th appearance in this tightly woven mystery is cause for cheer. JaneAdams

Tucker Peak

An overworked sheriff and a string of condo burglaries at a luxurious ski resort have Lt. Joe Gunther and the newly minted Vermont Bureau of Investigation digging deep for clues. But it doesnt take long for Joe to find the most likely thief missingand his girlfriend dead. As the complications mount, from drug dealing to environmental terrorism to attempted murder, Joe and his team go undercover to infiltrate the closed society of a one company town, populated by bored millionaires and supported by a small legion of resort employees, not all of whom are what they seem.

The Sniper’s Wife

The call to Detective Willy Kunkle came from the NYPD. Willy’s ex wife, Mary, had been found dead in her New York apartment and he was asked to provide the next of kin ID. Although he hadn’t been in touch with Mary since their divorce, Willy knew he was the only one left to vouch for her remains. Willy returns laden with misgivings that are deepened all the more by seeing Mary’s pathetic corpse on a gurney. Driven by his loss, his doubts, and a blossoming guilt, Willy defies the authorities in an increasingly dangerous search for answers along New York’s mean streets. From gutted slums to the townhouses of Brooklyn Heights, Willy will plummet through the dark shadows of his past, confront his demons…
and live up to his menacing nickname.


When hero*in traffickers establish a vast and swift pipeline into nearly every corner of Vermont, Joe Gunther’s Bureau of Investigations is called on to stem the tide. With pressure building from politicians and resentment burgeoning in the ranks of rival investigative units, Joe’s team is forced to take wild risks and push a number of ethical envelopes in their attempt to bring the problem under control. Sammie Martens must go deep undercover as a drug dealer, Lester Spinney must investigate a loved one, and Joe must make some agonising choices as he works to reconcile a noble end with highly dubious means. With a ‘War on Drugs’ in full swing within Vermont’s borders for the firs time, Archer Mayor’s beloved sleuths will be driven to their very limits as they struggle to rid their community of a plague of epic proportions.

The Surrogate Thief

Archer Mayor’s most recent book, Gatekeeper Mysterious Press, 10/03, 0 89296 766 8, is poised to continue the author’s run as one of New England’s most beloved authors. It will be published concurrently in Warner mass market in 10/04. Mayor’s The Sniper’s Wife Mysterious Press, 2002 was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year a first in his storied career and has over 47,000 copies in combined print. Tucker Peak Mysterious Press, 2001 has over 41,000 copies in combined print. Sales of the entire Joe Gunther series continue to grow with the publication of each new hardcover, and Archer Mayor is a tireless promoter, visiting bookshops, libraries, high schools, and colleges throughout the Northeast.

St. Albans Fire

The latest installment in Mayor’s classic Joe Gunther series finds the intrepid detective and his team in scorching pursuit of a serial arsonist.

The Second Mouse

Intriguing plots, complex characters, and a landscape come to life are mainstays of Archer Mayor’s New England thrillers. With a gift for vivid writing, he has made ‘an honorable art form of the regional mystery,’ according to the New York Times Book Review. Now in a suspenseful new novel, Mayor’s popular sleuth Joe Gunther faces one of the most baffling cases of his career.A legend among Vermont cops, Joe Gunther has solved more local whodunits than a whole squad of detectives. But his latest case takes him and his team off their Brattleboro home turf, forty two miles west, to chip on its shoulder, blue collar Bennington. On the edge of town, Gunther encounters the lifeless body of Michelle Fisher. Her corpse, pale and seemingly at peace, offers him no clues about who she was or how she died. There are no signs of violence, no disorder. Snapshots and postcards show a woman who laughed hard and lived harder. Yet diaries reveal a rootless life marred by depression and drink. Suicide seems a reasonable conclusion, but Gunther suspects foul play. The house is for sale, after all, and Michelle was its only tenant one who resisted all efforts to have her evicted. The unsavory landlord is a prime suspect, but is safely equipped with an impressively air tight alibi. Now to uncover the truth about the fate of this discarded, all but forgotten woman, Gunther must follow a confusing trail of half leads and mounting crimes. He draws near to a violent and careless trio of criminals, whose leader is hell bent on making the career move of a lifetime and willing to step on anyone who might get in his way.


Intriguing plots, complex characters, and a vivid landscape are the foundation of Archer Mayor’s award winning New England thrillers. Now in this suspenseful new novel two investigations will lead Mayor’s popular hero Joe Gunther to the shady realm of Internet chat rooms, where relationships are formed and broken, and nothing is as it seems.

News travels fast in the small state of Vermont. In this tight knit society, police officers and investigators proudly maintain a kinship that transcends the boundaries of their jurisdictions. When an unidentified body is found in the peaceful town of Brattleboro, local police and the Vermont Bureau of Investigation both appear at the scene.

But before investigator Joe Gunther can begin to gather evidence of murder, a family emergency sends him to his hometown, where the lives of his mother and brother have suddenly been threatened. Gunther reaches out to a network of police officers who know him only by name and reputation as he attempts to discover the source of this imminent danger.

Meanwhile, his investigative team chases an elusive murderer who has no apparent ties to the victim. In a state that is more like a neighborhood community, secrets are difficult to keep, and it’s sometimes impossible to know who can be trusted. Gunther soon finds himself opposing criminals more menacing than any he has ever encountered in order to save those he holds closest to his heart.

The Catch

Joe Gunther, a Vermont cop for most of his adult life and now the head of the VBI Vermont Bureau of Investigation gets the call that every law enforcement person hates and every friend and family member of a policeman fears a cop has been shot and killed. A deputy sheriff was shot to death during a routine traffic stop on a dark country road. From what can been seen on the cruiser’s tape recorder of the killers, it is believed that they were a couple of Boston based drug runners who had been stopped by the deputy on their way from Canada down to Boston. Which is what brings Gunther and his team to the investigation an attempt to shut down the major drug running operation. Specially that of one Alan Budney, disaffected son of a lobsterman, now a drug kingpin, who uses the closed, clannish lobster fishing community and his extended family in particular, to move drugs along the New England coast. The most recent book and last from Grand Central Chat, has spent four week on the extended Booksense bestseller list and, as always, has been on the NEBA bestseller list since publication. He is the winner of the 2004 New England Booksellers Association Award for Best Fiction.

The Price of Malice

Wayne Castine was found brutally murdered and the murderer remains at large. Castine, a suspected child predator, was killed in Brattleboro where he was involved with a tangled network of an extended family living in a local trailer park. Any member of the clan would have had the opportunity to kill him, and, as he was involved with both the mother and her 12 year old daughter, reason to commit the murder. At the same time, Joe Gunther has learned that his girlfriend Lyn Silva’s fisherman father and brother, believed lost at sea off the coast of Maine, might have actually been murdered.

Without enough solid information to warrant law enforce ment involvement, Lyn returns to Maine to try and investigate Gunther s findings. Gunther periodically puts his on going murder investigation on hold irritating his colleagues and angering his bosses to go and help Lyn in Maine. It appears increasingly possible that her father and brother weren t the good guys that Lyn always believed them to be and that they might have been involved with vicious smugglers who murdered them and might do the same to Lyn if she keeps pushing.

Torn between his conscience and his heart, a murder invest igation and a personal search for the truth, Gunther finds that betrayal and loyalty are often a matter of viewpoint.

Red Herring

VBI Vermont Bureau of Investigation head Joe Gunther and his team are called in to investigate a series of violent deaths that appear unrelated until telltale clues reveal a linkage between them and that all of the deaths are, in fact, murders. However, apart from a single drop of unexplained blood left at each crime scene, there are no obvious connections between the victims or the cases. The police are faced with more questions than answers including what do the mysterious deposits of blood mean, coming as they do from three additional unknown people. In their search for the elusive truth, the VBI must plumb the depths of every suspect’s past, every victim s most intimate details, and examine each piece of evidence down to the smallest detail an examination which includes a trip to the Brookhaven National Lab on Long Island and an exploration of cutting edge forensic technology.

Southern Timberman

In Southern Timberman, Archer H. Mayor traces the legacy of William Buchanan and the companies he owned along the borders of Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas, from his first lumber mill in the early 1880s to the sale of the last company in 1979. Like many self-made men, Buchanan was known for both his compassion and his relentlessness. To the hundreds of workers who lived in his company-built mill towns, ‘Old Man’ Buchanan was a caring father figure. To his business associates, he was a strong-willed profiteer–a God-fearing, ‘cut-out-and-get-out’ lumberman whose crews laid waste to thousands of acres of virgin pineland.

Whatever his tactics, William Buchanan had a gift for making money. By the time he died in 1923, he was one of the wealthiest men in the South. Southern Timberman is also the story of a strong, volatile family who fought–sometimes among themselves–to preserve that fortune. Tracing the growth of Buchanan’s ventures from the first acre of virgin pine to the charged atmosphere of the corporate boardroom, Mayor paints a compelling family portrait set against the background of America’s oil and timber industries.

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