Opening Day: A Matt Davis Mystery

Rated 4.67/5 based on 3 reviews
Opening Day is a 2012 B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree.
Girls are coming through an Upstate New York fishing village, but they aren't all coming out--alive!
Out fishing, Police Chief Matt Davis stumbles upon the remains of a murder victim, killed approximately six months earlier. With no evidence, no ID, and no clues, it's up to Matt to not only find the murderer, but to discover the victim's identity. More
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About Joe Perrone Jr.

Joe Perrone Jr is an author whose diverse background includes a stint as a sports writer with a prominent New Jersey newspaper, the Herald News, and several years spent freelancing as an advertising copy writer. He has had numerous short stories published in the Mid-Atlantic Fly Fishing Guide. In addition to his writing, he spent ten years as a professional fly fishing guide on the historic Beaverkill River in New York's Catskill Mountains. Nearby Roscoe - "Trout Town USA" - serves as the setting for four of the five books in the Matt Davis Mystery series. The five are: “As the Twig is Bent,” "Opening Day," "Twice Bitten," "Broken Promises," and "Deadly Ransom." Roscoe is a place to which Joe returns as often as possible to fish his favorite waters and visit with long-time friends. In addition to the Matt Davis mysteries, Joe authored “Escaping Innocence: A Story of Awakening,” a coming-of-age novel set in the turbulent sixties; “A ‘Real’ Man’s Guide to Divorce (First you bend over and . . . ,” as well as co-authoring “Gone Fishin’ with Kids (How to Take Your Kid Fishing and Still be Friends)” with Manny Luftglass.
In October of 2015, Joe suffered a mild stroke, which served as a wake-up call. He underwent a complete lifestyle change, including switching to a diet that is about 90 percent vegetarian, which resulted in a weight loss of nearly 30 pounds. Unfortunately, the stroke caused an already dicey balance system to become even worse. As a result, Joe’s days of wade fishing his beloved Catskill trout streams with fly rod in hand may be nearing an end. He’s still fishing, but more often than not it’s with a spinning rod (affectionately referred to as a “zip gun” by hardcore fly fishermen). Joe still enjoys cooking (and eating), reading his Kindle, listening to music (anything but hard rock), and spending time with his two granddaughters. He and his wife live in the shadow of Charlotte, North Carolina, in Indian Land, South Carolina, together with Willow the Wonder Dog. Joe welcomes comments and queries from readers via email at: He makes every effort to respond to all emails promptly. And don’t forget to follow Joe’s blog at:

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Also in Series: The Matt Davis Mysteries

Also by This Author

Reviews of Opening Day: A Matt Davis Mystery by Joe Perrone Jr.

Sheila Deeth reviewed on Feb. 18, 2012

Cozy in setting and characters, gritty in detail, equally convincing in police procedure and the tying of flies for fly-fishing, Joe Peronne’s Opening Day takes Matt Davis out of New York City but keeps him firmly in the world of crime and victim. Village life is filled with well-drawn characters met at station, diner, on the road or by the river. But even the quietest, safest place can hide secrets, and a dead body found in the water may be just the first of many.

While Davis quietly fishes for clues, runaways look for freedom. And the mystery’s not just who-dun-it; it’s also who was done and how. The countryside’s ease lends a gentler touch to this second book as it follows As the Twig is Bent, though the dangers of life and road are depicted with the same clear-eyed honesty. I enjoyed seeing Davis continuing his career, still using his skills, but growing as a person, making this much more than just another police procedural. I’m looking forward to reading book three—Twice Bitten—and to spending more time in the company of good people, in the countryside of upstate New York’s good rivers and trees.

Disclosure: I am grateful for the author for giving me an ecopy of this novel after I reviewed As the Twig is Bent.
(reviewed 6 months after purchase)
Jess C Scott reviewed on Aug. 28, 2011

Well, OPENING DAY starts off magnificently--I'm a big fan of Edgar Allan Poe, and found myself smiling at the opening scene's visual similarities to the setting of Poe's "The Pit and the Pendulum."

I liked the tight writing (Hemingway would approve--probably along with the well-written and well-placed fishing scenes, which offer an interesting contrast to the more tense aspects of the plot's development). Sequels sometimes have a sense of "fizzling out" (they often just don't have the same panache as the first in a series), but Mr. Perrone's talent and skills really shine in the mystery/detective genre. I watch a lot of Law and Order episodes (I am a diehard fan) and I felt this story evoked the same kind of suspense/tension/plot-unraveling as with many of the Law and Order cases/episodes (with a bit of a Bones/CSI-type feel added in for good measure).

Character development is top notch (not only with the main character/former NYPD homicide detective--there are several 3-dimensional female characters too!), as well as the dialogue (which makes for smooth, pleasant reading). The little details elevate this book beyond mediocre and subpar, such as with the brief mention of Ted Bundy, and the multi-layered plot which comes together via past and present day. That bold and unique structure of the book was the best element of the novel for me. It set the pace well and it moved the pieces of the story along in a compelling way (very fitting for a mystery piece). Oftentimes an author might shy away from the "past versus present" structure throughout the book, but I guess the good writers do exactly what everyone else says cannot be done.

Also, without giving away any spoilers, the ending was cohesive and just perfect in terms of execution. Now to wait for the next in the Matt Davis Mystery Series by Mr. Perrone (I await more fabulousness in terms of characterization and setting)!
(reviewed 12 days after purchase)
Kim Leland reviewed on July 3, 2011

Another excellent tale from Mr. Perrone, an exciting read with more twists and turns than a wily old fish on a line. Matt Davis is an interesting character, and I appreciate the development shown.
(reviewed 6 days after purchase)

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