It is the middle of October and still very hot and dry in Blacklin County, Texas. The weather has not been right for years and that isn’t all. Sheriff Dan Rhodes has already had a busy morning when the call comes in about the dead body over at the branch campus of a local community college. While he isn't sure if the one building on the outskirts of Clearview could be considered a campus Sheriff Rhodes is sure the body between the dumpsters is dead and the crime scene is ruined thanks to gawkers.
English Teacher Earl Wellington is dead. Probable cause of death is the obvious visual sign that part of his head is bashed in. Considering what looks to be blood and hair in the right place on one of the dumpsters, it appears that a sharp corner on one did it with some help by person or persons unknown. Wellington was a bachelor, but he was also an English teacher. As Dean King points out, “It's always the English teachers.”
Wellington wasn't liked by students or staff and seemed to relish heated confrontations. That means the suspect pool is large and extends beyond his current job assignment. Too bad Sherriff Rhodes doesn't have the fictional Sheriff Sarge Barton to help him. Sarge might help with Rhodes boycott of Dr. Pepper too now that they went and ruined it.
This latest in the series is number eighteen and is another good mystery with plenty of laugh out loud moments. With referenced comments to earlier books in the series Compound Murder: A Dan Rhodes Mystery frequently reminds readers of good times and not so good times in earlier books. As expected Texas author Bill Crider brings back favorite characters such as Hack, Lawton, reporter Jennifer Loam, Rhode's loving wife Ivy, Math teacher Seepy Benton and many others in an highly entertaining read that also frequently references classic movies and books. If you are not aware of these cultural references thanks to your young age, you will discover additional hours of entertainment pleasure checking them out.
Along with a complicated main mystery there are plenty of interesting secondary storylines that generate numerous laugh out loud moments. The latest in the series, Compound Murder: A Dan Rhodes Mystery keeps this fine series rolling along well and is very much worth your time.
Compound Murder: A Dan Rhodes Mystery
Minotaur Books (A Thomas Dunne Book)
August 13, 2013
Hardback (also available in e-book form)
The author provided an ARC in exchange for an objective review.
Kevin R. Tipple ©2013