Monday, February 9, 2009

Read: "Of All Sad Words" by Bill Crider

Read: Of All Sad Words by Bill Crider, 2008, 9780312348106.

Typically good work by Crider. This one is unique because Sheriff Dan Rhodes not only draws his revolver, but actually fires it. Heck, he shoots his gun three times and even hits two people. That is an increase compared to previous entries in the series. As usual the plotting is really well done and the killer's identity was a surprise to me.

Rhodes has recently run a Citizens Police Academy for the Sheriff's Office and some local County officials think the graduates are being busy-bodies and nosing around where they should not. When a rural residence, rumored to house a meth lab, blows up one of those Academy graduates becomes suspect. When the body of one of the occupants is found shot dead near in a nearby field Rhodes (or maybe it was Deputy Ruth) investigates further and finds an illegal still in the woods. Rhodes and Deputy Ruth are chased down and almost run over by a 4x4 - shooting number one - when investigating the still.

When a local restaurant owner is run over by the same 4x4 the mystery deepens. Rhodes runs into his nemesis, Rapper, who is also bootlegging, and shoots him in the hand during a brief exchange of shots - shooting number two. Rhodes ends up shooting one of the killers in the foot - shooting number three.

Secondary characters Hack and Lawton did not get on my nerves. In the O.W.L.S. novel I was getting pissed off at them. Their behavior was not as bad this time around.

Joe R Lansdale receives mention by a character who claims he studied Kung-Fuey under "Professor Lansdale in Nacgodoches". That same character now lives in Blacklin County but, apparently, was featured in Crider's Sally Good mystery series. 87th Precinct Mysteries also receive mention as does Hard Case's reprint of McBain's The Gutter and the Grave.

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