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Cut Through Valley Paperback – January 1, 2000

5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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From the Author

Dean Feldmeyer is the author of the popular "Dan Thompson" mysteries. Viper Quarry was the first, set in the sleepy Kentucky town of Baird, and was nominated for an Edgar Award as "Best Paperback" in 1995.

Dan Thompson is a Methodist clergyman with a past. On probation with the church for an indiscreet love affair with a parishioner, he is assigned a tiny charge set squarely in the Kentucky coal fields. The local constable, Ray Hall, enlists the reluctant Rev. Thompson as co-investigator when murder occurs in the hills. As Ray puts it, "while Appalachian hill folk don't cotton to the law, they rarely take potshots at pastors."

Dean says, "In the Dan Thompson mysteries I have attempted to blend the dark edge of the hard-boiled detective novel with the humor of the clerical mystery, and put them together in an area that I have loved for nearly 40 years."

Dean Feldmeyer is actually a real-life Methodist minister living in Ohio, but with strong ties to the South. Since his youth he was involved in home repair and other service projects in the Appalachian regions of Kentucky, Tennessee, and West Virginia. His grandmother served as a dormitory parent at an orphanage in the hills of Eastern Kentucky.

Before the ministry claimed him, Dean was a professional actor, high school teacher, cook, and dock worker. As a minister he has served as a hospital and police chaplain, and a lecturer on theology, family dynamics, and parenting teenagers at the Methodist Theological School of Ohio, the Bank One College, the Ohio Valley Course of Study School, and the United States Army War College. In addition to writing mysteries, he has either written or contributed to a half dozen books on parenting or youth ministries, and has written articles for a number of magazines. He also wrote a play, Homefront, set in a small Indiana town during World War II (Eldridge Publishing).

Dean lives with his wife of 28 years, Jean. His son and daughter are in college. In his spare time he enjoys wood carving and directing the drama department of the local high school. He will continue his Dan Thompson mysteries with Cut-Through Valley, which will be released by Silver Dagger in July 2000.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

I unzipped the bag and looked in. Underwear, socks, shaving kit, a couple of shirts, and a gun. I just looked at it lying down there in the bottom of the bag like an ugly, black, deadly monster from some far away galaxy.

Ray stooped next to me and looked into the bag. "Colt Python," he said. "357 Magnum with an eight inch barrel." He reached into the bag and pulled the gun out, holding it around the trigger and cylinder. He pointed at it with his other hand as he spoke. "Double action. That means you just point it and pull the trigger. Kicks like a son of a bitch so use both hands just like you see on the TV cop shows."

"Is it loaded?" I asked, not taking my eyes off of it.

"Five rounds. One chamber is empty so you don't shoot it accidental. . ." He handed it to me. It was heavy and it fit my hand comfortably. I know this sounds dumb, but it felt, well, masculine. . .

"This gun's got only one purpose, Dan. It's for killin' people. NRA can go on all it wants to about targets and huntin' but this gun's a mankiller. You have to point it at someone, you point it at the biggest part of his body and you pull the trigger three times at least."

I brought the gun up in front of me with a two-handed grip just like my uncle had taught me.

"If you have to use it you'll be stressed and you'll feel hurried, but don't be. Just seein' you with this thing will give a man pause. That'll give you time to level it and squeeze off three rounds. Put it in the bag," he said.

"Keep it beside your bed. If they come tonight, they'll come loud. That's their style."


Product Details

  • Paperback: 204 pages
  • Publisher: Overmountain Press (January 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570721378
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570721373
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,906,804 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By A Customer on August 8, 2001
Format: Paperback
In Three Mountain Township, Kentucky, Methodist Minister Dan Thompson and Constable Ray Hall attend the funeral of Geraldine Shrewbridge. Although the senior citizen peacefully died in her sleep, funeral director LeRoy Whiteker asks the two men to take a close look at the corpse of Jonah Haycatcher, who died when he fell off his tractor and was run over by the disk. LeRoy shows his two visitors a bullet hole in the back of Jonah�s head.
Ray changes Jonah�s death from accident to homicide and begins an investigation into the man�s background. He quickly learns that Jonah has had a previous alias and had a belief that he was a reincarnation of the Prophet with Nineveh being DC. Because Jonah moved here not that long ago with his flock, the Children of the Lamb of God, Ray enlists Dan to help on the investigation in case religious questions surface. This case alone is difficult enough, but the duo also has to contend with a DEA agent who is busting half the county for growing weed.
CRIMSON CREEK is a warm regional mystery that focuses on life in Appalachia Kentucky. The story line stars a warm protagonist who has fallen from grace and is exiled to Three Mountain Township where he regains some of his lost esteem. The who-done-it is entertaining, but the tale belongs to the various characters living in this hilly county as they make the constable and the minister seem like real people involved in a murder mystery.

Harriet Klausner
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This was a great book from start to finish. The characters were interesting and the plot very well constucted. His books all have a lot of detail and you can picture the story as it enfolds. I Loved it!
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