cover image Murder of a Beauty Shop Queen: A Dan Rhodes Mystery

Murder of a Beauty Shop Queen: A Dan Rhodes Mystery

Bill Crider. Minotaur, $24.99 (272p) ISBN 978-0-312-64017-0

In Crider’s enjoyable 19th Dan Rhodes mystery (after 2011’s The Wild Hog Murders), the Clearview, Tex., sheriff with a fondness for barbecue and Dr. Pepper investigates the murder of hair stylist Lynn Ashton, killed by a blow to the head with her hair dryer. Rumors swirl regarding Lynn’s involvement with married men as well as her tendency to indulge in blackmail, but conflicting accounts suggest that understanding Lynn’s true lifestyle won’t be easy. Further complicating the case are shady activities at the town environmental reclamation center, pressure from local politicians and other figures, and the discovery of another body at an antiques store. Rhodes’s encounters with the overly enthusiastic amateur sleuth Seepy Benton and his inability to persuade his colleagues and neighbors that he bears no resemblance to fictional crime-busting sheriff Sage Barton (featured in the memorably titled work Terrorist Terror) are continuing sources of fun. Agent: Kim Lionetti, BookEnds. (Aug.)