Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Half in Love with Artful Death – Bill Crider

© 2014 St. Martin’s Minotaur, New York

Everybody’s a critic. This is because everyone has their own opinion, and some are more inclined to share their opinions than are others (just read this on-line review journal). There’s really nothing wrong with having, or stating, an opinion about, let’s say art, until the critic turns up dead.

That’s just what happened to Burt Collins (local complainer about everything in Blacklin County Texas) when he makes his opinions noted about the art exhibit in town and the artists it has attracted.

The latest episode in the long-running Sheriff Dan Rhodes mystery series is another rip-roaring good time. With the help of his faithful force of deputies, his long-time friend and thorn in the side C.P. “Seepy” Benton, and an array of colorful characters (including an orange-haired artist), Rhodes is able not only to solve the mystery, but also a string of convenience-store robberies, some escaped donkeys, and the mystery of the naked woman at the roadside rest area. He even shuts down a local meth lab a la his fictional counterpart Sage Barton in an excitingly dangerous shoot out.

I can’t recommend this series enough. But I can especially tip my ten-gallon Stetson to the newest story in the life of Dan Rhodes. It includes art, music, and some interesting poetry along the way. I give Bill Crider another set of five reading glasses for his latest story.

—Benjamin Potter, September 9, 2014

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