While billed as book four of the Aaron Tucker Mystery Series, the short story titled, The Gun Also Rises, is also a prequel to the series. For readers familiar with the books, this ten thousand word short story is an explanation of how things got started with characters we already know and love. For those readers new to the series, it is a nice taste of what is to come in the series that started with For Whom The Minivan Rolls.
Set several years before the books, the tale opens with Aaron Tucker dealing with a school issue that haunted many parents in the late 1990s--- zero tolerance. Driven by fear, zero tolerance policies covered many things that used to be handled on an individual case-by-case manner as things happened. Bringing a toy water gun to school and shooting your fellow first grade classmate is something that does not go over well. What would have been dismissed as a childhood prank and the offender warned, now results in a heavy administrative response. Barely two weeks into the school year and Aaron Trucker is already sitting down with the Vice Principal Anne Mignano of Sydney Primary School located in Midland Heights, New Jersey.
According to the vice principal, there isn’t any question Ethan used his water gun on the other student. Even if Abby, Ethan’s mom and Aaron’s wife, and is also an attorney, was there for the meeting Ethan could not avoid a two day suspension from school. After all, it is a mandatory district rule and therefore can’t be open to interpretation.
But, what if the water gun wasn’t his?
Aaron knows once he sees the water gun that it does not belong to Ethan. Aarons knows what toys Ethan has and certainly does not have a yellow one. All Ethan has are red and blue toys, except for dinosaurs, as they have to be yellow because it is an accuracy thing. Once Aaron points out the fact that he had the water gun isn’t his, Vice Principal Mignano gives him three days to identify the guilty party or Ethan starts his suspension on Monday.
Not only does Aaron need the time to clear his son of the false accusation, he needs time to do his freelance writing assignments. Being a working writer operating from home means he has his hands full with taking care of the home front in all aspects as well as taking any and all writing gigs as they come. That includes an assignment for a baseball periodical that wants Aaron to write a piece on the star pitcher of the local minor league team. The same star pitcher that died right on the mound during the celebration minutes after the team won the championship. As Aaron does his research on the player, when not dealing with the water gun problem, Aaron begins to realize that the death was a murder. The question is—who did it?
First published in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, The Gun Also Rises is a mystery with a couple of twists and plenty of humor. Those of us who were work from home parents or still are will recognize some of the issues that have to be dealt with on a regular basis. Those who aren’t will still get a chuckle or two as the primary mystery of what happened to the baseball player takes over the read.
Fun and entertaining, The Gun Also Rises: An Aaron Tucker Mystery, is a nice treat for longtime readers of the Aaron Tucker series as well as a very nice entry point for new readers. Well worth your time, the short tale is highly recommended.
The Gun Also Rises: An Aaron Tucker Mystery
I recently picked this up to read and review using funds in my Amazon Associate Account.
Kevin R. Tipple ©2017