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)
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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