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Flat Crazy: Blanco County Mysteries Paperback – November 17, 2011

4.4 out of 5 stars 131 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Edgar-finalist Rehder's improbable and outlandish third mystery to feature game warden John Marlin (after Buck Fever and Bone Dry) finds the Blanco County, Tex., area in a sweat over presumed sightings of a mysterious wild animal called a chupacabra. No one knows what one looks like, but various lurid descriptions have stirred up local interest as well as attracted some unwelcome outside media attention. A corpse with a neck wound that looks like the work of fangs helps fuel the frenzy. Meanwhile, bumbling bubbas Billy Don Craddock and Red O'Brien come up with a superbly grandiose plan that entails capturing the mythical beast. Ex-con Duke Waldrip hasn't exactly reformed; he has a nice scam going involving phony trophy heads and exotic (and illegal) animals for staged hunts. But Duke's day starts badly when he's confronted by a wised-up hunter and it gets progressively worse as he tries to cover his tracks. Throw in an opportunistic car thief, a young boy with a taste for adventure, a few escaped exotics and a wealthy wastrel with a rebuilt trophy wife, and Rehder has a stable of characters and critters guaranteed to create havoc. Marlin's quiet competency adds to the enjoyment, as he puzzles out this confounding mystery only to have to rely on assistance from a most unlikely source.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"One of the genre's rising talents."
-- South Florida Sun-Sentinel

"Outrageous fun."
-- Kirkus Reviews (starred review) on Flat Crazy

"Intriguing and entertaining. Rehder's characters may be outrageous, but they are never boring."
-- Dallas Morning News on Flat Crazy
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Blanco County Mysteries
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (November 17, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1467932493
  • ISBN-13: 978-1467932493
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (131 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #166,321 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Ben Rehder brings us back to Blanco County, Texas in this third book featuring Texas F&W Game Warden John Marlin in a fun and fast paced romp through deer country. This time we run afoul of fake trophy deer mounts, exotic animal hunting, the chupacabra, tabloid tv reporters, deaths by screwdrivers & toasters, Chinese midget porn, and our favorite redneck poachers-come-heroes Red Obrien and Billy Don Craddock.

Rehder continues to put forth enjoyable comic mysteries based in his fictional Blanco County. His witty writing and quick pace takes the readers through a speedy jaunt in the back country via a variety of interesting characters. Just when you begin to wonder why one of the side stories is even in the book, it all falls into place and ties it all together. Always a pleasure to read Rehder's books and hopefully we've still got an abundance yet to come.
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Format: Hardcover
Comic crime novels are one of my delights. I look forward the latest goofiness from Elmore Leonard and Carl Hiaasen with great excitement. You can imagine my joy when I found that I could add Ben Rehder ad his Blanco County mysteries to my must-read list for guffaws and laugh-until-I-cry amusement.

Flat Crazy combines an authentic Texas country voice with great satires of the local doings. Mr. Rehder has a powerful and original imagination for characters and plots that employs an intense wackiness that is just irresistible.

Some of the many satirical targets in this book include the superstitious, exotic game trophy hunters, hunting guides, pornographic entrepreneurs and actors, television news producers, and the idle rich. When one of these targets isn't cracking you up, another one is.

The plot is also quite delightful. It's not easy tying all of those elements together into something resembling a crime and detection story.

The story begins simply enough. A day-laborer needs to find a bush quickly in order to relieve himself. What he finds there launches a county-wide search for a mythical beast. Everyone has an angle, each one crazier than the next.

Elsewhere, a scamming hunting guide gets caught by his customer . . . and finds himself facing the wrong end of a revolver. A little accident makes matters worse. And so the fun begins!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
And I mean that in a good way. Spent most of the day yesterday turning pages, smiling, grinning and occasionally laughing out loud. Thanks to another funny Ben Rehder novel, I avoided a whole day's worth of chores. Thanks, Ben.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This isn't the usual type of mystery I'd read; I prefer those mysteries where I can come to discovery about the killer along with the authorities. Nevertheless, this is a well written story that will keep you entertained from start to finish.

We learn early on the identity of the killer. The remainder of the novel is filled with a series of contrivances, coincidences, and down-right silliness (think dwarf porn stars) as the game warden attempts to discover who killed Mr. Searcy.

I recommend this book if you want a light, fun read. But do bring a pencil and paper with you when you begin reading. There are A LOT of characters in this, and it was hard at first to keep track of who was who.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a real life game warden, some of the facts of this story are bit far fetched; but they probably do things differently in Texas.
Far fetched but entertaining nonetheless. Good storytelling and fun to read.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This isn't really a whodunnit, because we see the crime committed in the beginning of the book.Donnie is a hunting guide in rural Texas; Kyle inherited a large ranch and plenty of money, is on a path to spend it all, and lets Donnie guide hunters. So when a dentist from the big city comes back to Donnie to complain that his trophy rack is fake and ends up dead, his body has to be hidden. Then there's the Mexican day laborer who sees a chupacabra, which causes the county to be on the national news radar, and brings the locos out of the woodwork to find the chupacabra (which is as real as Bigfoot). There isn't really a mystery, so much as watching the law trying to figure out where the dentist went, what the chupacabra is, and work out why Kyle ran off. It's a fun romp through Texas; not intellectually stimulating, but fun,
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The kind of book that tears out of the gates, settles in some as you are trying to parse out what's what (what does a chupacabra, a dwarf Chinese porn star, and a game poacher have in common with murder?) and then has such a strong finish you can't wait to see how it ends! All of the characters are extremely rich in depth, but I'm really hoping that the protagonist, game-warden Marlin, is present in many more of these entertaining books. Some of my favorite moments from this book include the morgue housed in an old Dairy Queen building (freezer storage, anyone?), Red telling his partner "If something happens to me, you can have my Elvis CDs", and a law enforcement official uttering the words "It's redneck-appreciation time." I found this book hilarious and am adding it to my all-time favorites list. 5-stars for sure!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read the first two books and just had to read at least one more. Once again the author transports us to rural Texas and all the colorful characters inhabiting Blanco County. I could not figure out how a porn director/producer could possibly figure in the story, but by golly it all fit in together in the end.
The author does tend to lean towards hookups, drugs, and media stars for plot devices, but it is all in good fun. His almost-farce settings and new as well as recurring characters make for a very enjoyable read.
Swearing: more in this book than the others. Hence the 4 stars instead of 5
Sex: yes but not at all explicit
Violence: yet but not graphic
Drugs: multiple situations with drugs, some of it pretty descriptive
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