cover image Risky Undertaking: A Buryin’ Barry Mystery

Risky Undertaking: A Buryin’ Barry Mystery

Mark de Castrique. Poisoned Pen, $24.95 (258p) ISBN 978-1-4642-0308-4

The planned expansion of Heaven’s Gate Gardens, a cemetery outside Gainesboro, N.C., causes conflict in de Castrique’s engaging sixth mystery featuring funeral director and deputy sheriff Barry Clayton (after 2010’s Fatal Undertaking). The discovery of Native American bones and artifacts at the site pits Luther Cransford, one of the project’s major supporters, against Jimmy Panther, a member of the Cherokee tribe. When Luther’s wife, Eurleen, suddenly dies, Panther leads what turns into a violent protest at her burial. Soon after, Panther’s body is found sprawled across Eurleen’s grave, and a potential powder keg is lit. Complications abound when a New Jersey hit man enters the scene, followed by a Boston cop. The kidnapping of a young Cherokee boy ratchets up the tension. The author offers insights into the political, economic, and cultural ramifications of Indian casinos, along with a large cast of believable characters with a wide emotional range. Agent: Linda Allen, Linda Allen Literary Agency. (Nov.)