cover image Booked for a Hanging

Booked for a Hanging

Bill Crider. St. Martin's Press, $17.95 (202pp) ISBN 978-0-312-08149-2

Down-home humor, rural shenanigans and sait-of-the-earth characters make up for predictability in this enjoyable, albeit unsurprising, tale. In his sixth outing (after Evil at the Root), Sheriff Dan Rhodes of Blacklin County, Texas, finds the body of book dealer Simon Graham hanging from the rafters of an old college building he had planned to restore. Graham's business partner, his erstwhile girlfriend and a rival book dealer all lay claim to a copy of Poe's Tamerlane, a rare collection of poetry worth $250,000, which Graham had purportedly discovered. At the same time, Rhodes deals with a rancher whose cattle has been stolen, a man who frequents a local restaurant naked, the introduction of computers to the sheriff's office and his recent marriage. Balanced, agreeable and ambling apply equally to Crider's story and his hero. (Oct.)