cover image Compound Murder: A Dan Rhodes Mystery

Compound Murder: A Dan Rhodes Mystery

Bill Crider. Minotaur, $24.99 (272p) ISBN 978-0-312-64165-8

Anthony Award–winner Crider’s 20th mystery featuring sheriff Dan Rhodes of Texas’s Blacklin County (after 2012’s Murder of a Beauty Shop Queen) offers the usual enjoyable combination of witty help from dispatcher Hack Jensen, minor crises like a hog loose in Hannah Bigelow’s house, the theft of hair extensions from Lonnie Wallace’s Beauty Shack, and a major crime or two, such as the killing of English professor Earl Wellington at the local college campus. Rhodes finds a likely murder suspect in survivalist Able Terrell’s son, Ike, a student who lives at the group’s compound. The sheriff also uncovers discord in the groves of academe—in particular Wellington’s relationships with English department chair Harold Harris and college dean Sue Lynn King. Rhodes takes everything in stride, from the hectoring of Mayor Clifford Clement to the bombast of Able. Rhodes, often embarrassingly compared to fictional sheriff Sage Barton, successfully emulates that action hero in the clever and satisfying resolution. Agent: Kim Lionetti, BookEnds. (Aug.)