cover image Half in Love with Artful Death: A Dan Rhodes Mystery

Half in Love with Artful Death: A Dan Rhodes Mystery

Bill Crider. Minotaur, $24.99 (272p) ISBN 978-1-250-03967-5

Sheriff Dan Rhodes continues to maintain law, if not order, in Crider’s amiable 21st mystery set in Clearview, Tex. (after 2013’s Compound Murder). Normally, Rhodes and his deputies deal with such stuff as bar fights, robberies, domestic disputes, and stray donkeys, but a vandal’s attack on a show at Lonnie Wallace’s art gallery leads to more serious trouble. Curmudgeonly Burt Collins, who has been fussing about the influx of artists into the town and disapproves of Lonny because he’s gay, is caught coming out of the gallery shortly after the alarming incident. Things might have quieted down if Collins wasn’t subsequently murdered. Meanwhile, someone robs Oscar Henderson’s little store, a disagreement over prizes at the art show provokes a riot, and a naked woman is running around at a highway rest stop. Since Rhodes doesn’t have the crime fighting weapons shown on TV, he must get things done the old-fashioned way in this amusing tale. Agent: Kim Lionetti, BookEnds. (Aug.)