All Treat Mikkelson desires in his life these days is peace, quiet and a bumper cache of clams. After a lifetime spent investigating crimes and analyzing the criminal mind, Treat is now enjoying the well-earned solitude living on a private island in Puget Sound. Life truly couldn't get any better.
The death of eighty-seven year old Margaret Neillsen - a reclusive millionaire who made her money buying and selling real estate - really shouldn't bother Treat in any way. He didn't know Margaret, and despite feeling a certain sadness at her passing, the fact that she died falling downstairs doesn't strike Treat as suspicious or in any way murderous. She was elderly and infirm; it was to be expected.
However, according to Cassie McLaren - a friend of Margaret's - she was spry even at the ripe age of eighty-seven, and could never have tripped and fallen downstairs, because she knew the layout of her house like the back of her own hand. Cassie is convinced that Margaret Neillsen's death is actually murder and begs Treat to investigate it further; promising to try to accept her friend's death as natural if the coroner's report comes back clear. Cassie's request is one Treat cannot deny, even as his subsequent investigation exposes all manner of crime: from fraud to the horrific underbelly of child exploitation.
The Dancing Boy by Michael Matson dealt with some serious, tough, dark issues, and may not be appropriate for all readers. I, myself, found this a difficult book to read and I must say that I wasn't all that certain whether I liked the character of Treat Mikkelson that much at first. I found that Treat grew on me as I read, though. I enjoyed this mystery and am curious to know whether there will be more mysteries featuring Treat Mikkelson - I certainly hope so. I give this book an A! and will keep my eyes open for more books by Michael Matson.