CURSED TO DEATH by Bill Crider


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Dr. Samuel Martin, a leading dentist and small-time slumlord in Blacklin County (Texas) disappears--soon after being ""cursed"" by one of his feistiest tenants, weird little Betsy Higgins. So Sheriff Dan Rhodes (Shotgun Saturday Night) naturally wonders if Betsy and the man she lives with might have something to do with Dr. Martin's mysterious absence. Soon, however, things get more complicated--because the dentist's secretive wife turns up murdered at home, apparently a burglar's victim. Is the killing somehow connected to the disappearance? And what about the surly, suspicious behavior of huge ""Little"" Barnes, another of the dentist's tenants? Sheriff Dan, as usual, has to engage in a bit of rough-stuff before sorting out the small-scale mystery (a serviceable two-part solution). He's also called in to mediate a feud at the local old-folks' home (re co-ed accommodations). So, with tidbits of humor and charm provided by the laconic sheriff's quirky staff (and by his shy-widower courtship of saucy Ivy Daniel), this is another agreeably folksy blend of pokey detection, lean action, and smalltown-Texas drollery.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1988
Publisher: Walker