Finished: Compound Murder by Bill Crider, 2013, 9780312641658.
Typically good. It's odd though. How are these so consistently good? How does a simple car chase, done so many times in so many places, stay so compelling? Sure, authors like Crider and Block and Gischler regularly do this but I still wonder how.
Anyway. Sheriff Dan Rhodes is outside in the early AM watching his dogs play when he gets a call to go to the community college campus. A dead man is by the dumpsters. (Dumpster death detection dealt by Dan.) The dead man is a disliked English professor. Rhodes investigates and finds some people-of-interest and also handles the daily rinky-dinktasks his job requires. Rhodes asks many questions and cogitates. Rhodes has a shootout, but this is a Sheriff Dan Rhodes novel and no one is killed ore seriously injured by gunfire.
As usual the characters are more interesting than the crime. Which is saying something because Crider's culprits are never easily identified until he lets me know. Rhodes suffers the obnoxious behavior of Lawton and Hack (mostly Hack), citizens who always demand but rarely thank or appreciate, and blathering local politicians. Rhodes deals with an understaffed workplace and a job that rarely gives him a day off. Rhodes suffers the indignities of meat-free meatloaf.
Maybe is was me but this felt like more a crime novel than others in the series. Not as much thought by Rhodes into the declining economies of small towns and the terrible criminal behavior that some people get up to. Rhodes is still dedicated to his job and the victim and finding the murderer(s).
1. Community college and wise cracks at the expense of English instructors.
2. Dr. Pepper love.
3. Dr. Pepper woe as Dan Rhodes grieves the end of bottling at the Dublin, TX Dr. Pepper plant and cannot bring himself to try Mr. Pibb. At least he still has Dairy Queen Blizzards.
4. Dairy Queen Blizzard love.
5. Blacklin County geography. Sure would be neat if someone created a Blacklin County wiki and map.
6. Aggies but no Aggie jokes. I was disappointed.
7. Gratuitous Seepy Benton.
8. Mentioned: wild hogs and bigfoot.