Similar authors to follow
See more recommendations
About Bill Crider
Customers Also Bought Items By
When Dr. Samuel Martin, the local dentist — and unpopular landlord — claims he's been hexed by a tenant, Rhodes does his best to smooth things out between the distressed D.D.S. and the would-be witch. But in two shakes of a black cat's tail, the good doctor disappears... and his wife turns up bludgeoned to death.
For Rhodes, it means there's a bad moon rising over Blacklin County. And now he's got to do the voodoo he does best — asking pointed questions and extracting the painful truth from some tight-lipped suspects who also bite...
To Rhodes's relief, the severed limbs—part of a large cache Bert has discovered while clearing brush—are not evidence of a mass murderer at large in Blacklin County, but something more on a par with the usual emergencies the Texas lawman has to deal with: cows loose in the churchyard, ninety-year-old Mrs. Thurman's periodic attacks of "blindness" (which Rhodes cures by sending out a deputy with fresh light bulbs), and the like. Meanwhile, back at the jail, his attenuated employees are bristling about the new deputy, a highly qualified police officer, but a woman, and the air conditioner has collapsed during the heat wave. Plus his personal life has its own problems; does he or does he not want to marry Ivy Daniel?
Then Bert Ramsey is shot to death, and serious crime takes over. A tattoo on the body discloses that Ramsey was once a member of Los Muertos, a violent motorcycle gang from the city, and current members of the gang turn up in Blacklin County. There are questions: Where did the town handyman get the money to buy two color television sets, two VCRs, and a houseful of new furniture? Not to mention six thousand dollars in cash rolled up in a sock in Bert's dresser drawer. Dan Rhodes doesn't have access to the high-tech detection methods of city police—and probably wouldn't use them if he had. Dan has to talk to people and sift the facts from the lies. If he is careful, he believes, and keeps it up, he'll usually get results. "Keeping it up" involves tangling with Wyneva Greer, Ramsey's former girlfriend now living with a mysterious newcomer to the town, Buster Cullens. Buster becomes the next murder victim—of the same killer? Rhodes isn't sure. He soon tangles with the bikers, sustaining a certain amount of damage in the process.
Dan Rhodes is, in the words of Newgate Callender of The New York Times Book Review, "a quiet man, an honest man and a stubborn man," and it seems that no amount of violence is going to deter him from getting to the bottom of the murders in his relatively peaceful and beautifully evoked Texas county.
Jeanne Clinton was a pretty and well-liked woman—though in her younger days she'd been known to be a bit wild. But she married an older man and settled down to a quiet, respectable life. Now she is dead, brutally murdered in her home.
Dan Rhodes, the thoughtful, hard-working sheriff of Blacklin County, Texas, has enough to worry about already: a rash of burglaries in town and an election coming up against a hot-shot opponent. Now he's got to find a killer among the residents of his little town—a wily killer, bound and determined not to be caught.
The deeper Rhodes digs into the hearts and minds of his neighbors, the more secrets he turned up...and the more violence he encounters. But Rhodes doesn't give up easily. And neither does the killer.
Beloved Texas Sheriff Dan Rhodes is back with his final murder case in That Old Scoundrel Death.
When a man is run off the road by a thug with a snake tattooed around his neck, Sheriff Dan Rhodes knows it's his duty to stop and help out. The grateful victim gives his name as Cal Stinson, on his way to the nearby town of Thurston to take a look at the old school building before the city tears it down.
The next day, Cal Stinson turns up again. Only this time, he's dead.
His body is found in the dilapidated school that's about to be razed, and the woman who let Cal onto the premises claims he gave his name as Bruce Wayne. Whoever is he is, he was shot in the back of the head, and a piece of chalk lies inches away from his hand, under a lone line on the chalkboard, his last words unfinished.
Between not-so-bright hoodlums who can't seem to stay on the right side of the law, powerful families in town who are ready to go to battle over whether the old school should come down, and trying futilely to get private detective Seepy Benton to stop making mountains of mole hills, Sheriff Rhodes is beginning to wonder if retirement might be as good as it sounds.
Dan Rhodes, sheriff of Blacklin County, Texas, is called to the Beauty Shack, where the young and pretty Lynn Ashton has been found dead, bashed over the head with a hairdryer. The owner said Lynn had gone to the salon late to meet an unknown client. There was a lot of gossip going on about Lynn before her death, but no one seems to really know much about her, or they're not telling Rhodes.
Lynn was known to flirt, and it's possible an angry wife or jilted lover had something to do with her death. The salon owner suspects two outsiders who have been staying in an abandoned building across the street. While he investigates the murder, Rhodes must also deal with the theft of copper and car batteries, not to mention a pregnant nanny goat that is terrorizing the town.
Murder of a Beauty Shop Queen is a wonderful entry in this always delightful series by award-winning author Bill Crider.
First, there's the matter of the bodies at Ballinger's Funeral Home and the apparent misplacing of their valuables; the bereaved are beside themselves. There'd best be immediate action or the bell could toll again, this time for Sheriff Dan's reputation as the guardian of justice and decency in these parts.
As if that weren't enough to contend with, yet another body tumbles into Sheriff Dan's path—out of a closet this time, and trussed up in most unsavory fashion. More disrespect, but obviously a separate case from the funeral home. Or is it?
Meanwhile, with Hack Jensen and his sidekick Lawton (more comic than cop team) minding the jail, thank heavens there's Deputy Ruth Grady for backup. On the personal front, his fiancée, Ivy Daniel, is supportive as always, but a mystery rears its perplexing head here as well—namely, will Sheriff Dan propose or will he not?
Tough questions on every side, and guess who's expected to come up with the answers before he gets carried away by Death On the Move?
Small-town Texas sheriff Dan Rhodes is in for another puzzling mystery in this next in the entertaining, award-winning series
Before classes start one morning, the body of English instructor Earl Wellington is found outside the building of the community college. Wellington was clearly involved in a struggle with someone and has died as a result. Sheriff Dan Rhodes pursues and arrests Ike Terrell, a student who was fleeing the campus. Ike's father is Able Terrell, a survivalist who has withdrawn from society and lives in a gated compound. He's not happy that his son has chosen to attend the college, and he's even less happy with the arrest.
Rhodes discovers that Wellington and Ike had had a confrontation over a paper that Wellington insisted Ike plagiarized. Wellington also had had a confrontation with the dean and was generally disliked by the students. As the number of suspects increases, it's up to Rhodes to solve the murder while also dealing with an amusing but frustrating staff, a professor who wants to be a cop, and all the other normal occurrences that can wreak havoc in a small town.
Bill Crider's Compound Murder is an enjoyable police procedural filled with surprises, chuckles, and a quirky cast that will captivate mystery readers.
One hot summer morning, big, tough Bud Turley brings an enormous tooth into the Blacklin County police station and asks Sheriff Dan Rhodes to keep it for him until the paleontologist from the community college comes up to examine it. Turley insists that the tooth is proof that Bigfoot roams the woods---unless it is from a prehistoric animal, which Rhodes thinks is more likely. But Turley's buddy Larry Colley has maintained for years that he's seen Bigfoot. Most inhabitants of Blacklin County have avoided those woods, but Colley and Bud are at home there, and Turley is ready to crow over his find. However, the next day his body is found in the forest, leaving Larry Colley more certain than ever that a monster is lurking there.
Dan Rhodes is not sure that Bud's death is the work of an "ordinary" criminal. And he wouldn't be too surprised if somehow feral hogs were involved; Rhodes knows what many Texans don't---it is estimated that at least a million and a half feral hogs roam the state; many believe it could be twice that many. But when the sheriff is faced with the murder of an elderly woman in the small store she ran at the edge of the woods, he knows he has a human killer on his hands.
A Mammoth Murder is Bill Crider's thirteenth mystery featuring Sheriff Dan Rhodes, his two-man headquarters "staff," and the quirky citizens of Blacklin County. Readers of the series will unanimously welcome another visit to this hospitable, if surprising, Texas community where mixed with the real-life inhabitants you'd find in any small Southwest town, there will always be some really unique goings-on.
The prime suspect is a fellow Sunny Daler, Maurice Kennedy, who was known to have had no love for the cantankerous Bobbit—a feud that originated way, way back in the youth of the two men. Now Kennedy is missing—but is he the killer or another victim?
Meanwhile, Rhodes and his two attenuated jailers have been hit with a lawsuit claiming dangerous and inhumane conditions at the local jail. There's not much of a case, considering that the town's best cook provides the prisoners' meals. With all that's going on, Rhodes scarcely has time to pay proper attention to his fortunately ever-patient fiancée, Ivy Daniel.
Matt Cahill is working security at a traveling carnival, seeking a respite in the lonely battle against the supernatural entity known as Mr. Dark. But that’s not going to happen. He can sense something isn’t right, almost as clearly as he can see the evil in people as rotting flesh. Soon a series of violent, horrifying events rock the carnival…and, most disturbing of all, a fake fortune teller’s dark prophecies start coming true.
So when she foresees imminent doom, Matt knows it can only mean one thing: Mr. Dark is here, and it’s not for the cotton candy. If Matt can’t stop him, Mr. Dark will destroy every last soul in this godforsaken carnival—and salt the earth with blood.