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    Review of A MAMMOTH MURDER by Bill Crider (see his website)


    Thomas Dunne Books, St. Martin's Minotaur, April 2006

    When local troublemaker Bud Turley shows up at the sheriff's office with a huge tooth, about the only thing Sheriff Dan Rhodes is sure of is that it doesn't belong to Bigfoot like Bud thinks it does. Sure enough, the a teacher from the local community college identifies it as belonging to a mammoth--not especially rare in Texas. But before the scientists can organize a dig, a body--this one fully human--shows up not far from the mammoth. The boddy belongs to Bud's best friend and is only the first of two sudden deaths.

    Sheriff Rhodes isn't sure what's going on, but he's pretty convinced that the two murders have something to do with each other, and he has a hunch that there's a connection to the long-ago disappearance of a young boy from the same area. He's also pretty sure that bigfoot isn't responsible, even if the man who discovered the body claims he saw a huge shadow that could only belong to bigfoot and even though the Texas bigfoot hunting association is all over the place. Also all over the place are a pair of authors from Dallas who've given up on writing romance and have now decided that they need to write mystery, featuring a handsome Texas Sheriff.

    Author Bill Crider (see more reviews of novels by Crider) spins a wonderful tale with a strong Texas twang. Sheriff Dan Rhodes laconically investigates, struggles with his deputies who can be counted on to deliver as little news as slowly as possible, with his diet--which consists of too many Dairy Queen Blizzards, and with both local troublemakers and those brought in from out of town by the possibility of a bigfoot run amuck. Rhodes isn't the most physical of sheriffs, and he may not even be the smartest, but he's got plenty of small-town common sense, an understanding of the way people work, and the patience to work through the toughest mystery.

    A MAMMOTH MURDER is a charming story--one that grows on you as you read, and that keeps up reader interest from start to finish.

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 10/07/06

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