A Dead Man's Tale: A Charlie Moon Mystery

James D. Doss, Minotaur, $24.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-312-61369-3
Charlie Moon and his best friend, Scott Parris, the chief of police of upscale Granite City, Colo., face a doozy of a case even by their standards in Doss's folksy 15th mystery featuring the Ute tribal investigator (after 2009's The Widow's Revenge): solving the murder of megabucks investor Samuel Reed before it occurs. Though the two lawmen initially scoff at the prospective victim's proffered wager that he won't survive his young wife's upcoming birthday, they have second thoughts after Mrs. Reed's 911 report of a phantom break-in as well as more serious concerns once Moon's self-appointed deputies—his reprobate Aunt Daisy, an elderly shaman with supernatural sources, and teenage orphan Sarah Frank—tail the lady in question to a rendezvous with her lover. Even so, ensuing events blindside Moon and Parris, setting in motion a denouement surprising enough to make it worth tolerating the author's myriad digressions and annoying stylistic quirks. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/27/2010
Release date: 11/01/2010
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