In the beautiful setting of Deep Creek Lake, Maryland, Blast from the Past: A Mac Faraday Mystery revisits some of my favorite characters: Mac Faraday, Archie Monday, David O’Callaghan, and, of course, Gnarly, the beloved dog that acts as a helper to the police on many occasions.

The story opens at a time twelve years before, when a young woman named Kendra Douglas hears strange noises coming from the library stacks at the University of Maryland. Within minutes, as she leaves for the night, she witnesses a murder.

Flash forward to discover that Archie Monday is experiencing a “blast from the past,” and she is revealed as Kendra Douglas, whose identity and appearance were changed when she was brought into the Witness Protection Program.

The mobster she witnessed murdering the victim has discovered her location. And all hell is breaking loose in the beautiful, wealthy Deep Creek Lake setting.

In the usual fashion that drives any great mystery, we meet numerous characters that figure into the plot in some way, and then there are the characters we are suspicious about, but cannot quite connect to the story until the very end. How does a murder in a Bed and Breakfast connect to any of the other murders in the area? Who is the mysterious bicyclist seen at the scene and then never seen again…until another night when murder and mayhem are happening? And what sneaky dealings is another participant in the Witness Protection Program up to, and how will Archie discover her secrets?

Great characters, fascinating and revealing dialogue, and the kind of pacing that always keeps me reading quickly led to a very satisfying story with a great conclusion. Of course I can’t wait for the next mystery in this series! Five stars.

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