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    Review of MURDER IN THE HEARSE DEGREE by Tim Cockey


    Hyperion, 2003

    Undertaker Hitchcock Sewell runs into an old flame--a woman with a story. The woman's missing nanny turns up dead and Hitchcock dragoons his private investigator buddy Pete into helping him. The trail of the dead girl gets turns messy, with political corruption, questionable religious organizations, and stories of child abuse coming into the picture. Still, between embalming the occasional customer and chasing after a multitude of attractive females, Hitchcock sticks to his investigation.

    Author Tim Cockey uses Hitchcock's introspection to inject a sardonic humor into a serious mystery. Be careful. Picking up a novel with a title like MURDER IN THE HEARSE DEGREE might lead you to expect belly laughs. Instead, Cockey deals up an assortment of wry grins. Inclusion of ex-wife Julia, 12 year-old Darryl, and aging aunt Billie add a touch of humor but seem sometimes slightly forced.

    The novel is set in Baltimore and Anapolis, Maryland, and Cockey, a Baltimore native, delivers the real feel for the place, down to the corruption that has never quite been eliminated from the Free State.

    Smooth writing and an intriguing story compell the reader through this fast-paced murder mystery.

    See more reviews of novels by Tim Cockey.

    Three Stars

    Reviewed 4/07/03

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