Dead Dog Blues

Neal Barrett, Jr., Author St. Martin's Press $22.95 (312p) ISBN 978-0-312-10963-9
Problems raised by a ``dead electric dog'' open Barrett's second mystery, after Pink Vodka Blues . Max Coomer, the wealthiest man in Pharoah, Tex., finds his black Lab murdered in the back yard. With its jaw wired and a Walkman tied around its neck, the dog seems to be barking in unison with the tape that's playing. Joining the motley crowd of rednecks ogling the spectacle is town marshall Jack Track, who spent 14 years of his life with another name, another home, and another profession (Wayne, Vegas and killer, respectively) before returning to his hometown. Pretty soon Coomer is as dead as his dog, dressed in a football uniform and wired to look like he did when running for touchdowns as a high school hero. Jack, the dead man and a few others, including the victim's widow and Pharoah's sheriff, Deke Glover, went to high school together. Jack tries to piece together the puzzle with the help of his girlfriend Cecily, who owns a line of yogurt shops and isn't pleased at Jack's brief tryst with Max's widow, and his best pal Earl Murphy, a rich cantankerous black man who made a fortune on Wall Street. More murders lead Jack to a lunatic's private theater as the humor, coming as fast as the instantly orgasmic widow Coomer, plays at--but doesn't quite go over--the edge. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/30/1994
Release date: 06/01/1994
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