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The Dead of Night (A Piper Blackwell Mystery Book 2) Kindle Edition
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Mark "the Shark" Thresher explains to her that he has been robbed, his bank account drained of a lifetime of savings. He may or may not be a bit on the crazy side, but Piper promises to find out who took his money and to get it back for him. It is quite late and raining very hard when he leaves the park, asking Piper to wait a bit to make certain that he isn’t being followed. As she is leaving, she slips in the mud and trips over some bones that were uncovered by the rainstorm.
The bones appear to be that of a child, seemingly murdered and buried in the park a very long time ago. Who did they belong to? And why doesn’t there seem to be an open case for a missing child from around that time? A case that old will be more difficult than usual to solve, yet that is just what she intends to do.
These are two very difficult cases for Piper and the others in the sheriff’s office to solve. Add to that the fact that they are still short-staffed and need to hire several people to fill in the gaps, stop someone who is repeatedly destroying neighborhood mailboxes, and of course deal with the usual drunk drivers and other problems that arise in any small town and you can imagine how busy everyone in the sheriff’s department is. Piper has been learning a great deal in the few months she has been sheriff, and while growing more confident in her position she still feels her lack of experience quite strongly.
Piper’s father has been declared cancer free, and she wonders if he is considering running for Sheriff once it is again time for an election. She feels that if he does, he would likely regain the office quite easily. He has the experience she lacks and is still recognized as having been a great sheriff. If he did become the sheriff she could then rejoin the military, but does she really want to? She may not have expected to win the election originally, but now that she has been in the office for a while, she is coming to enjoy the job and starting to earn the respect of those she works with.
Then Piper starts to feel like someone is following her. She starts receiving emailed threats coming from her own account telling her to leave the case alone if she values her life. Her car has a brick thrown at it and obscenities painted on the sides. Someone clearly doesn’t want her trying to solve one of the cases that she is working on.
This book had so many twists and turns that it kept me guessing the entire way through (usually incorrectly). I very definitely recommend reading this one. My only complaint is that the next book in the series is still being written by the author, meaning that I’ll need to wait quite some time before I can buy a copy to read. I’m looking forward to that release date, even though I realize that it will be some time yet as this book was only just recently released.
If you haven't read the first book, The Dead of Winter, do yourself a favor and read that book first (it gives you a lot of character background for this book), especially if the calendar indicates we're close to the Christmas holidays.
The Dead of Night has Piper dealing with multiple mysteries as well as a number of "incidents" she encounters as part of her normal duties. The writing is top-notch as usual, and we get an endless parade of interesting characters.
The books could easily be classified as Cozy Mysteries if Piper was a writer instead of the sheriff, and if you enjoy Cozies you'll probably love this series as well.
Like that isn’t enough, Gretchen, another senior citizen, is terrorizing mail boxes all over the county. She is described as “missing all the fries out of her Happy Meal.” In the middle of trying to stop the mailbox mauler, discover the identity of the decades-old bones, and get Mark’s money back, Piper starts receiving threats to stop her investigating and soon finds herself in imminent danger.
Once again, Jean Rabe has written a page-turning thriller. Set in a small town, with all the small town problems, the characters capture the reader with their similarities and differences from all the real people who cross our lives. Rabe has the knack to put the reader smack into every scene.
Will Piper continue to serve the citizens of Spencer County, or return to the Army; her career before she came home to help her dad? Will she overcome criticism because she’s still in her early twenties and lacks experience of her more seasoned detectives? You’ll have to read to find out.
Meanwhile, eagerly awaiting the next installment! Highly recommended.
Mary Cunningham, author, Margaritas, Mayhem & Murder: Andi Anna Jones Mystery #1