Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Murder in the Air-Bill Crider

Murder in the Air
Bill Crider
Minotaur, Aug 3 2010, $24.99
ISBN: 9780312386955

The residents of Blacklin County, Texas are outraged over the odious smell coming from Lester Hamilton’s humongous chicken farm. The locals demand County Sheriff Dan Rhodes act now or face unemployment. He insists he has no authority as this is a matter of the state’s Environmental Protection Agency, which everyone knows works for the protection of big business.

At a time he prefers to hide from two female authors who wrote novels starring heroic Sage Barton rumored to be him, he suddenly has a suspicious death to deal with when Hamilton is found dead near a popular fishing spot. Although the Sheriff believes it was an accident caused by "noodling," for large catfish with his hand as bait, he investigates anyway as he knows a lot of people are angry with the deceased. As Rhodes investigates the death, he deals with Robin Hood shooting arrows with notes attached to them and women scantily dressed in feathers protesting the fowl factory farm.

Filled with plenty of the trademark humor, the latest Crider police procedural (see Murder in Four Parts) is a wonderful zany Texas thriller. The story line is fast-paced and loaded with an eccentric cast who add to the zaniness of the plot. This is a fun detective tale in which there may not have been a crime beyond noodling.

Harriet Klausner

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