Book Review: “The Good Know Nothing” by Ken Kuhlken

September 27, 2014 at 5:57 pm | Posted in Books | 2 Comments
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Ken Kuhlken in his new book, “Good Know Nothing book coverThe Good Know Nothing” Book Seven in the  California Century Mystery series published by Poisoned Pen Press gives us another mystery with  Tom Hickey.

From the back cover:   DURING THE SUMMER OF 1936, destitute farmers from the Dust Bowl swarm into California, and an old friend brings police detective Tom Hickey a manuscript, a clue to the mystery of his father Charlie’s long-ago disappearance. Tom chooses to risk losing his job and family to follow this lead. Even his oldest friend and mentor, retired cop Leo Weiss, opposes Tom’s decision. Why so passionately?

Tom lures the novelist B. Traven to a meeting on Catalina and accuses him of manuscript theft and homicide. Traven replies that the Sundance Kid, having escaped from his reputed death in Bolivia, killed Charlie. Tom crosses the desert to Tucson, tracking the person or ghost of the legendary outlaw. He meets a young Dust Bowl refugee intent on avenging the enslavement of his sister by an L.A. cop on temporary border duty in Yuma. Tom frees the sister, delivers the boy’s revenge, and becomes a fugitive, wanted for felony assault by the L.A.P.D., his now-former employer.

What he learns in Tucson sends Tom up against powerful newspaper baron William Randolph Hearst. He hopes to enlist Leo, but instead Leo offers evidence that Tom’s father was a criminal. For Tom and his sister, both victims of Charlie’s wife, their crazy mother, what now?

This is the final chapter in the Hickey saga that ranges across the 1900s.

Any story that has the summer of 1936, a period marked by uncertainty and poverty, known in history as The Great Depression and Dust Bowl era sounds like a winner. It just means that this is going to be a hard-biting detective mystery and Mr. Kuhlken delivers just that. This story has layer upon layer of mystery to solve and Mr. Kuhlken is in no hurry to solve them. That just adds to the delight of the story as well as the real life characters that are mixed in with the fictional ones. “The Good Know Nothing” is a wonderful thriller as the tension mounts as Tom is trying to find his missing father.  “The Good Know Nothing” is loaded with twists and turns and red herrings that will leave you guessing all the while you are flipping pages to find out what happens next.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Partners In Crime.   I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”



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  1. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on this series crime novel with us. I think it’s interesting that the author took a non-chronological approach to writing the seven books in this series; it doesn’t seem like it would work out well, but having read some of the earlier books in this series, it does.

  2. […] 3. 09/27/14: Review @ Vics Media Room […]

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