Monday, August 14, 2006

A Mammoth Murder by Bill Crider

Okay. I know you’ve been asking yourself this for a while. “Where can I get a book with a murder, another murder, another murder, a wooly (or not) mammoth, and Bigfoot. And feral hogs. And a serious discussion of the merits of Dr. Pepper.” I just finished reading Bill Crider’s A Mammoth Murder. Talk about your hoots and hollering. Sheriff Dan Rhodes is back patrolling the mean back roads of Blacklin County, Texas. Hack, Lawton and Ruth are with him. It all starts when a native of the county brings a giant tooth for safekeeping at the station house. This seems harmless enough though it’s possible the tooth-bearer is also carrying a concealed weapon. Why this would bother the sheriff is beyond me*.

Pretty soon, a guy (I won’t say which) is murdered in the woods. Big Woods, no less. Did his friend do it? Did one of his ex-wives do it? Did one of his ex-wives’ husband do it? And when you take a picture of the corpse, is there something missing? Then someone else turns up dead. And there’s a search for Bigfoot. It turns out that when Bigfoot hunters come to Blacklin, they’re not the refined, sophisticated intellectuals in tweed that you might have imagined for yourself. Instead, they’re…uncouth. And then there’s the hunt for a mammoth. It turns out the tweedy types you thought might be looking for Bigfoot are, in fact, digging up bones with trowels and brushes. Not the rowdy trucker types I had imagined. Go figure.

In any event, Big Woods contains more than one mystery to be solved and Sheriff Rhodes puts up with his staff just long enough to solve them. And get shot in the process.

Now, the big question is whether there will be more Sheriff Rhodes mysteries. You’ll have to wait for my interview with Bill to find out. Unless, he makes something be known otherwise, of course.

*Whenever I’m in Texas (four visits, zero incidents of violence) I assume the Texans are packing. Whenever I meet Bill, I make sure not to startle him with a backslap or by shouting his name for this very reason.


Blogger Bill said...

Sure, there'll be more. The next one's out in January from St. Martin's. Murder Among the O.W.L.S..

August 14, 2006 11:52 AM  
Blogger Graham said...

Get it straight, Torres, it's just "Dr Pepper". Period.

August 14, 2006 1:58 PM  

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