Valley of Smugglers
by Upfield, Arthur W.
pub. by Detective Book Club - orig. Doubleday, 1961 isbn (none)
- 173 p. - a book in the Napoleon (Bony) Bonaparte series of mystery novels
Bony investigates the murder of a government agent who was acting undercover. He goes undercover himself to an isolated valley inhabited by Irish immigrants. Or their descendants. These people are wildly independent and wildly anti-government. They refuse to pay taxes and go out of their way to avoid paying, even the tax on television sets. They do have a well hidden and large distillery which is illegal, and is used to bring in extra income to the group, smuggling the illegal drink out to sell. Bony lives among them for weeks (months) and grows to admire their family centeredness, honesty (among themselves) and sense of fair play. They celebrate their Irishness, and the memory of the outlaw Ned Kelly (who is much like Jesse James in U.S. history). They despise the Irish who work as police and for the government, viewing them a traitors. This is a view into an immigrant society who keeps to themselves for well over 100 years after setting up their group. The end is thoroughly satisfying.
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