Of All Sad Words
A Dan Rhodes Mystery
By Bill Crider
(Minotaur Books, Hardcover, 9780312348106, 272pp.)
Publication Date: February 19, 2008
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Strangers are moving into Blacklin County, and none of them is any stranger than Seepy Benton, a math teacher whom the county judge suspects is a wild-eyed radical. Benton and Max Schwartz, who has opened a music store, are among the students in the Citizens’ Sheriff’s Academy, which seemed like a good idea when Sheriff Dan Rhodes presented it to the county commissioners. However, when a mobile home explodes and a dead body is found, the students become the chief suspects, and the commissioners aren’t happy. To make matters worse, there’s another murder, and one of Rhodes’s old antagonists returns with his partner in crime to cause even more trouble.
As always in Blacklin County, there are plenty of minor annoyances to go along with the major ones. For one thing, there’s a problem with the county’s Web page. The commissioners blame Rhodes, who knows nothing about the Internet but is supposed to be overseeing their online presence. Then there’s the illegal alcohol being sold in a local restaurant. It was produced in a still that Rhodes discovered after the explosion of the mobile home, and he’s sure it has some connection to the murders.
It’s another fun ride with genre veteran Bill Crider, and, once again, it’s up to Sheriff Dan Rhodes to save the day before Blacklin County becomes the crime capital of Texas.
Bill Crider is chair of the English department at Alvin Community College. He is also the author of the Professor Sally Good and the Carl Burns mysteries. He lives with his wife in Alvin, Texas.