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A Dead Man's Tale (Charlie Moon Mysteries) Hardcover – November 9, 2010


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Product Details

  • Series: Charlie Moon Mysteries (Book 15)
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (November 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312613695
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312613693
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,316,535 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Charlie Moon and his best friend, Scott Parris, the chief of police of upscale Granite City, Colo., face a doozy of a case even by their standards in Doss's folksy 15th mystery featuring the Ute tribal investigator (after 2009's The Widow's Revenge): solving the murder of megabucks investor Samuel Reed before it occurs. Though the two lawmen initially scoff at the prospective victim's proffered wager that he won't survive his young wife's upcoming birthday, they have second thoughts after Mrs. Reed's 911 report of a phantom break-in as well as more serious concerns once Moon's self-appointed deputies--his reprobate Aunt Daisy, an elderly shaman with supernatural sources, and teenage orphan Sarah Frank--tail the lady in question to a rendezvous with her lover. Even so, ensuing events blindside Moon and Parris, setting in motion a denouement surprising enough to make it worth tolerating the author's myriad digressions and annoying stylistic quirks. (Nov.) (c)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

No need to have read any of the 14 previous Charlie Moon mysteries to enjoy this one; it stands nicely on its own, the memorable characters adding zest to the crazy tale. Ute rancher and sometime-investigator Charlie Moon and his friend, Granite City police chief Scott Parris, think Sam Reed has a screw loose when the millionaire approaches them with a proposition he’s sure they can’t refuse. It seems Reed has foreseen his own murder, and he wants Moon and Parris to stop it. The fact that Reed can name the date and time of his demise and is willing to put up enough money to tantalize the police chief and ensure that Charlie keeps his cattle ranch from going under seals the deal. How Reed happens to see his future death (and how he made his money in the first place) is something the dapper genius isn’t telling—at least not yet. Funny, even slapstick in places, thanks mostly to Moon’s sharp-tongued, unashamedly duplicitous Aunt Daisy, this wacky story offers both good characters and a puzzle that won’t be too easily solved. --Stephanie Zvirin

More About the Author

JAMES D. DOSS is the author of twelve Charlie Moon mysteries, two of which were named one of the best books of the year by Publishers Weekly. Originally from Kentucky, he divides his time between Los Alamos and Taos, New Mexico.

Customer Reviews

Reaching the end, you've read a barn-burner of a story.
Christian J. Ingebretsen
This is Doss at his finest, a master story-teller with a great sense of humor.
L. Allen
It seems as though Doss is getting tired of his characters.
Dan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Nash Black VINE VOICE on November 16, 2010
Format: Hardcover
James D. Doss's A DEAD MAN'S TALE is an improvement in the Charlie Moon series, but this one does not center around Charlie. The beloved Aunt Daisy sneaks to the forefront to give the reader a surprise when she tries to right a wrong with disastrous results.
I've followed this series since the beginning and enjoyed Mr. Doss's beautiful descriptions and phrasing. Back several volumes, the series lost it's sparkle, but for the last two it has come around though it needs a sharp twist to reach the power of the earlier books.
It was a bit difficult to get into, but picked up when Daisy visited the pitukupf, though he didn't have much to contribute to the story. Maybe because Daisy forgot his treats and tobacco. But then maybe readers shouldn't be listening in on private conversations.
A fun read with some beloved characters to spice up a rainy afternoon.
Nash Black, author of Indie finalists WRITING AS A SMALL BUSINESS and HAINTS.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By L. Allen on November 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover
After last year's lackluster contribution to the series, it's grand to find Mr. Doss back on form as Daisy, Sarah, Charlie, Scott and Sidewnder embark on solving another mystery with the help of a little magic--my how those little coincidence do add up. This is Doss at his finest, a master story-teller with a great sense of humor. You don't need to be a follower of the series to enjoy this read but if you are you'll be pleased to have it on your shelf. The hardest part is that it's over and the wait for the next installment begins.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By L. Seeley on June 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Once again, Mr. Doss uses the third person narrative to tell his tale. The dialog was, in many cases, too cute by half and was not entertaining. The basic story/mystery was a good one and would have been a lot more enjoyable if the characters (standard mix of Charlie Moon, Scott Paris and Aunt Daisy) had driven the story instead of the third person telling us what the characters were doing and thinking (most of the time) and dropping very broad, "mysterious" hints. I guess I would still read the book simply because I have enjoyed Mr. Doss' other books, but his style on this one got in the way of my enjoyment.
I would give this 2.5 stars, but half stars aren't available.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. B. on August 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed the previous James Doss books, but this one fell short. The story line was just okay; the characters were underdeveloped. I missed the usual resolution at the end of the book where all the "mysteries" are explained and loose ends are tied up. Unlike the previous books, Doss's writing style seemed prissy and verbose. There were times it almost seemed like he was adding extra words because he needed to extend the number of pages in the book. (Memories of writing 10-page college papers at midnight the day before they were due...) The usual western educated cowboy dialog and writing style was replaced with effete Texas fop. Think I'll go back to his earlier books.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Christian J. Ingebretsen on February 12, 2011
Format: Hardcover
James Doss has pulled more cons, cooked more deals, and spun more yarns than Enron, Lehman Brothers and the rest of their likes combined. But instead of leaving a trail of tears and heartaches, Doss leaves smiles and a yearning for more. Doss's latest Charlie Moon story is no exception.

In the past, I've found severe fault with authors who write in series when they settle into a pattern. In the last 6 or so books, Doss has developed a notable formula, but it is so uniquely singular from other authors that I'm willing to grant him a variance. In Doss's case, he starts his books by presenting an implausible event. Charlie Moon (our hero), his best pal Scott Paris, and his Aunt Daisy put their heads together (albeit seldom willingly), and try to understand what is going on. If this were a normal pattern, the next step would be that they figure out "who dunnit", and put a stop to it. Doss breaks suit here, and generally about three quarters of the way through the book, the problem is resolved (my former English literature professor would refer to this as the climatic event). In the remaining 25% of the book, Doss then allows his characters several days, if not weeks or months, to mull over all the seemingly mundane things written previously and put it all together. It's refreshing in his books to know that the problem is settled and you've got the next 50 pages (give or take) to figure it all out. Reaching the end, you've read a barn-burner of a story.

It's mid-February, 2011 at the time of this writing, and if Mr. Doss continues to follow his established publishing pattern, I've got an 8 to 9 month wait until the next Charlie Moon novel hits the shelves. I'm kicking back for a period of ennui (see page 255 and have a copy of Webster ready).
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Format: Kindle Edition
An excellent read! Charlie Moon, ex-Ute reservation law officer, newly minted Ranch owner in Colorado takes a side job or two to help ends meet while getting started on the Columbine. Along the way, a wealthy local citizen makes a wager he and his friend the Chief of Police cannot keep him alive past a certain date and the mystery begins to build from there as his aged Aunt performs her version of "being Miss Marple", complicating the whole story. This book is no disappointment in the Charlie Moon series and highly recommended as a thought provoking read.
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