Friday, August 9, 2013

Shoot The Dog-Brad Smith

Shoot The Dog

Brad Smith

Scribner, Aug 6, 2013, $22.00

ISBN: 9781439197561

In the Woodstock area of Upstate New York, farmer Virgil Cain breaks in his two new Percheron plow horses Bob and Nelly. At the same time at the bistro in Woodstock, actress Olivia Burns meets with producer Sam Sawchuck to discuss the filming of Frontier Woman in which the former will play the lead. Sam explains her second choice as director Robb Fetterman will make the movie for her and her husband Levi Brown.

The producers hire Ben and Nelly at $500 a day; but though he needs the cash Virgil soon regrets his decision as the crew makes the money not worth his time while local casino owner Ronnie Red Hawk invests in the movie. When someone murders Olivia, Virgil’s lover police officer Claire Marchand investigates; but the killer has a second act starring the farmer and tweener child star Georgia.

The latest Virgil Cain mystery (see Red Means Run and Crow’s Landing) is an exciting whodunit in which overall the locals and Georgia are good people; while Hollywood (too sleazy) and Ronnie are amoral slugs. The leisurely-paced storyline is fun to read as the Gary Cooper hero learns that WC Fields was right to "never work with animals or children" since Georgia and Bob steal the show.

Harriet Klausner

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