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    Review of BACKSTABBER by Tim Cockey


    Hyperion, July 2004

    BACKSTABBER (3 stars) By Tim Cockey Hyperion ISBN 0786867132 Undertaker Hitchcock Sewell is eyeball-deep in murder when his slightly sleazy highschool friend calls him after his girlfriend's husband is stabbed to death. Sisco wants Hitch to make the body disappear, because although Sisco had nothing to do with the murder (or so he claims), he's going to be blamed. Hitch does the right thing--he tells Sisco and the dead man's wife to call the cops immediately. But somehow Hitch still ends up a suspect. To clear both himself and his buddy, he has to dig into the murdered man's family secrets and wade through some pretty angry, scary people to get to the truth.

    Meanwhile, Hitch's neighbor's mother dies under questionable circumstances at a local nursing home. Hitch can't resist asking a few uncomfortable questions there, too, and ruffling the feathers of some nasty people. But Hitch never seems to worry about getting killed or arrested himself. He remains utterly calm, his wisecracking humor intact at all times.

    This fifth installment in the Hitchcock Sewell series is undeniably funny, and the main character's universe in blue-collar Baltimore is richly portrayed and peopled with wonderful characters, including Hitch's gorgeous ex-wife Julia and his Aunt Billie, who runs the funeral home. I am always bothered, however, by a story that involves two totally separate mysteries that end up being connected at the end. If you really look at the events, you have to ask yourself, "What are the chances?" But then, I could never get past the fact that Murder She Wrote's Jessica Fletcher stumbled on a dead body every place she went.

    See more reviews of novels by Tim Cockey.

    Three Stars

    Reviewed 8/29/04

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    What do you think? Too generous? Too stingy? Or did I miss the entire point? Send your comments to Give me the okay to use your name and I'll publish all the comments that fit (and don't use unprintable language).

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