Monday, September 20, 2010

Murder in the Air – Bill Crider

© 2010 St. Martin’s Minotaur, New York

If you are like me, you always look forward to a trip to Blacklin County. One reason is that it reminds you so much of your home in East Texas. Another is that the characters and stories that emanate from the mind of Bill Crider are endearing, funny, and readable. And yet another trip to Clearview, the county’s seat, brings another tear to your eye—whether from nostalgia, laughter or allergy, I’m not saying.

Dan Rhodes faces another intriguing case when the county’s most despised man surfaces face down in a local fishing hole apparently drowned by accident. The problem is, the case is too easy to be closed this way, and something keeps niggling at Rhodes’s brain. As it turns out the local chicken baron (Lester Hamilton, also known as the deceased) has met with fowl play (puns always intended in Blacklin County). The local character/fisherman Hal Gillis who found the body, also becomes one because he knows too much. And now Rhodes has two murders to solve—with the help, of course, of ace deputy Ruth Grady, comic relief Hack and Lawton at the jailhouse, and the Carl Burns imitator CP (Seepy) Benton who actually teaches math at the local college (instead of English as Burns does). And they do it all without an M-16 (go read the book).

Interesting notes on this installment of the Dan Rhodes mysteries is the reference to Nick Carter instead of the 87th Precinct boys at the hands funeral director Clyde Ballinger, and the pubisher’s final decision for title of the book which seems less appropriate than the author’s own choice, which you’ll have to drag out of Bill.

Fans of serial murder mysteries will want to grab a copy of this one fast. And while you’re reading you’ll want to keep an eye opened for the references to nostalgic pop culture like Zero and Dr Pepper, and the book and movie titles and descriptions thrown in for good measure. Another five reading glasses, Bill. Keep them coming. (Of course if it’s up to the publishers, then tell them I said so.)

Benjamin Potter, September 20, 2010


Bill Crider said...

Thanks, Benjie! Another one's on the way (July 2011).

Benjie said...

Just in time to keep me in birthday gifts. Can't wait.

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