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Red, Green, or Murder (Posadas County #7) (Posadas County Mysteries Book 10) [Kindle Edition]

Steven F. Havill
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (142 customer reviews)

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If you're a cop long enough, you will sooner or later have to make a tough choice: Detective Sergeant Mickey Dolan is at this point. Take a look at all of author G. M. Ford's books

Book Description

Former Posadas County Sheriff Bill Gastner, now a New Mexico Livestock Inspector, is enjoying a day on Herb Torrance’s ranch—soaking in the sun as he counts a small herd of cattle and thinking about an upcoming lunch with an old friend back in town. But a light breeze stirs dust, a horse spooks, and Bill finds himself ferrying a broken cowpuncher in the back of his SUV, headed out to meet an ambulance.

Moments later, Bill’s day goes from bad to worse as he is summoned by undersheriff Estelle Reyes-Guzman to an investigation of an unattended death. Too impatient for Bill to finish up out at the ranch, old George Payton had decided to eat lunch on his own. A couple of bites later, he collapsed—dead of an apparent heart attack. But something isn’t right. It may well have been a heart attack, Estelle agrees, but something triggered it.
Before any questions can be answered, the small herd of cattle Bill had just counted is found wandering down a county highway. But there’s no sign of cowpuncher Pat Gabaldon or his boss’ $40,000 truck and livestock trailer. Forced into two tangled investigations, Bill faces one of the most complex cases in his 35-year career.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Havill's Posadas County, N.Mex., mysteries feature a strong ensemble cast that for nine volumes was headed by under-sheriff Bill Gastner, then by his successor, Estelle Reyes-Guzman, for the next six. The fine 16th entry, a chronological throwback that fits between Bag Limit (2001) and Scavengers (2002), finds Gastner retired from the law and working as a livestock inspector. But Posadas is small in people, large in area, and old habits die hard. When a ranch hand goes missing, Gastner helps with the search. When Reyes-Guzman thinks something is a bit suspicious about the death of George Payton, an irascible old retired gun dealer, Gastner is quick to lend a hand and an opinion. Havill's characters have a depth and a clarity that's refined with every new book in the series. It's a pleasure to see them operate not merely as lawmen or suspects or witnesses but as members of a community where flaws and quirks are understood and accepted. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"Havill's characters have a depth and a clarity that's refined with every new book in the series. It's a pleasure to see them operate not merely as lawmen or suspects or witnesses but as members of a community where flaws and quirks are understood and accepted." -- Publishers Weekly on Red, Green, or Murder


"Another highly entertaining entry (The Fourth Time is Murder, 2008, etc.) that shows those unruly New Mexicans doing what they do best. Long may they stay homicidal." -- Kirkus Reviews on Red, Green, or Murder

"As always, a fine mix of village drama and carefully rendered police work." -- Booklist on Red, Green, or Murder


Product Details

  • File Size: 652 KB
  • Print Length: 250 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press; 1.1 edition (May 25, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003XNTAF2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #139,207 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth the wait. November 17, 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Bill Gastner and Estelle Guzman are at it again and right in the middle of it too. Bill is working for the State Livestock Assn. issueing permits to move cows and while this is going on young Pat is taking the cattle to summer grazing. Bill is driving home and notices the cattle running wild and the cattle dog trying to steer them home. The mystery starts here and runs on. Certainly greed plays a large part of this story and Stephen Havill again nails the heart of the matter. This man is a master at producing the well written mystery that always entertains and never pains.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love Posadas County January 29, 2010
As long as Steven Havill has stories to tell about Posadas County, I will read them. The book does explicitly state that the book takes place between -Bag Limits- and -Scavengers- and Havill is certainly not the only author to slip more books in between the already published books of a series.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fine thriller January 11, 2010
Steven F. Havill's RED, GREEN OR MURDER provides a riveting survey of former Posadas County sheriff Bill Gastner, who is enjoying a day on the ranch counting cattle when disaster strikes. His investigation of an unattended death leads to a rancher's collapse and questions about murder in cattle country in this fine thriller.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best of the series November 6, 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have read all of the Posadas mysteries and this is one of the most interesting. Estelle and Bill share the spotlight and it is fun with them working together. There are 2 separate stories which are both rather complex. One story is regarding the death of an old friend of Bills and the other about a missing ranch hand.

I enjoy these books a lot as they are entertaining, the mysteries/murders are challenging and the characters have depth. But there is not a lot of gore or unnecessary violence just for the sake of shock. The stories are not 'shoot 'em ups' but well thought out plots. The side stories about the small town in New Mexico and it's quirky residents are very entertaining.

The only strange thing about this particular book was it was oddly published out of sequence in relation to the other Posadas books. In the last book before this, Estelle has 2 children and her husband built a medical clinic on property owned by Bill. At that time, Estelle's children were maybe(?) 8 and 5 years old - or around that age and her husband had opened up the clinic.

In the beginning of this story, it is mentioned that the kids were much younger - about 5 and 3 years old. It also talked about the land Bill had given them and about the plans to build a clinic there in the future. I was scratching my head and looked several times at the publication date of this book to see if it was really an old one that I had mistakenly bought thinking that it was new. But the date of publication was November 2009, so it was the newest in the series.

When I finally looked at the list of Posadas novels in the front of the book, there was a footnote that said that this story took place between 2 other books published years ago. It really did not detract from the overall story that this was out of order, but it was just a strange thing for a recently published book to have taken place years ago.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars super police procedural November 7, 2009
Retired Posadas County, New Mexico Under-sheriff Bill Gastner works as a livestock inspector. However, he gets involved in a search for a missing ranch hand as he cannot fully stay out of police work although he keeps pledging to himself that he will next time.

Current Under-sheriff Estelle Reyes-Guzman investigates the death of retired gun dealer George Payton. Something does not feel right to her and Gastner offers his advice and opinion though she never asked him for it. Still Estelle seems to understand her predecessor's inability to let go and knows how skilled he is so she asks him to help on a case she thinks might be a homicide.

The latest Posadas County police procedural is a superb entry in what is one of the best series over the past years. Bill is unable to stop himself from doing police work as it is in his blood while Estelle understands his need. They, along with the rest of the sheriff's department and the county residents make for an enjoyable tale as Steven F. Havill brings to life the enchantment of New Mexico while the state enhances the homicide and missing person investigations.

Harriet Klausner
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A discovery August 15, 2011
These books are wonderful. If you love the Southwest, and New Mexico culture in particular, you will rejoice in Bill Gastner and Estelle Reyes-Guzman. If you're new to mysteries, you might not have a clue as to just how amazing an accomplishment the Posadas County mysteries are. Steven F. Havill makes us deeply enjoy, and like, an old, fat, Burrito Grande-loving retired sheriff and livestock inspector. Comparisons are odious, but I can't help comparing Gastner with more colorful mystery heroes such as Spencer and Elvis Cole. Not to take away from the great skill of their creators, but Gastner is something very different, unique, and deeply likeable. I reckon part of what makes him so engaging is that he's real, with real faults, and very real strengths. Easier to identify with than, say, Joe Pike, and just a bit more likeable. I wonder if Tony Hillerman read any of these books before his passing - can't help feeling he would have loved their portrayal of a different and equally appealing side of New Mexico.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
If you like Westerns you'll like it.
Published 1 month ago by Tom Moore
5.0 out of 5 stars Posada County
This author was recommended to me a few short months ago, and I have since read all of his Posada County novels. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Sue Mauer
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read
This was a quick read that held my attention with a number difficult situations. A retired sheriff in a small Arizona town is in a position to help the current sheriff and under... Read more
Published 3 months ago by B. Boudreau
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining read
Posadas County Mysteries are an entertaining read.
Published 3 months ago by R A
5.0 out of 5 stars Shasta
I grew up in southern New Mexico and as such, I enjoyed toe book very much.
Published 3 months ago by Shasta
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very good
Published 4 months ago by #1Bookworm
4.0 out of 5 stars Laid back rustic mystery
Not read anything by the author previously and see now this is the 16th in a series. The retired sheriff, still employed by the County in another job, is an old codger, who seems... Read more
Published 4 months ago by drkhimxz
4.0 out of 5 stars good old time lawman
Cop and western well combined in the fashion of L'amour and McBain. Excellent work that may force me to read more of Havill's work. Read more
Published 4 months ago by A. Voracious Reader
4.0 out of 5 stars ... my first book by this author and I really enjoyed it. He painted
This is my first book by this author and I really enjoyed it. He painted. Great picture of the town and area and the relationship of townsfolk to each other with his words. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Catherine L. Ferrera
4.0 out of 5 stars Hard to Put Down
Really held my attention. Wish I would have read the previous books first. Loved the interaction between Bill and the undersheriff.
Published 5 months ago by Marj Sterriker
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