Monday, April 28, 2008

Murder Aboard the Choctaw Gambler-Sharon Ervin

Murder Aboard the Choctaw Gambler
Sharon Ervin
Five Star, May 2008, $25.95
ISBN: 9781594146985

Arizona State Bureau of Investigation Agent Jim Wills investigates the murder of Larry Potter, a croupier on the Choctaw Gambler riverboat casino. He allows Bishop Clarian reporter Jancy Dewhurst to join him as he makes inquiries. He soon concludes that Larry was in the wrong place at wrong time and looked especially in the dark like the owner Jesse Chase. The sniper must have thought he was killing Jesse.

At the same time, the rival Dominion News Editor Tyrone asks Jancy to investigate rumors that volatile G.C. Gideon has bankrupted his elderly father Tyrone’s vast ranching empire to pay his gambling debts. As she looks into that, G.C. remains the prime suspect in the Potter murder as he had a fight with Chase over gambling debts. After Jancy interrogates Tyrone, an outraged G.C. brutally beats up his father and sends his henchman Bubba Valentine to kill the meddling reporter. Jim who is attracted to Jancy tries to keep the curious journalist safe even as he fears he will lose her to her ambition.

Although I have doubts that an agent of the ASBI would allow a reporter easy access to an official inquiry (especially without complaints from rival journalists), readers will enjoy the fast-paced police procedural romance. The whodunit is fun, but it is the relationship between J & J that adds a tasty spice to the story as MURDER ABOARD THE CHOCTAW GAMBLER is an entertaining romantic investigative tale.

Harriet Klausner

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