A small-town Texas judge has murder on his mind.
Post Oak, a neat, quiet little town in east Texas, is home to Judge Jackson Crain (Death Splits A Hair, 2005, etc.), a man who longed to be in law enforcement but didn’t want to disappoint his lawyer father, and his teenaged daughter Patty. When hotshot local realtor Tom Delgado, who had recently found religion, is murdered, Crain is only too happy to assist the sheriff in his investigations. The politically ambitious DA wants to arrest Delgado’s wife Dovie, whose immediate reaction to his death is to hit the bottle. Crain holds him off, citing lack of evidence. But he can’t keep Dovie out of jail when Delgado’s pastor, a well-known female evangelist who inherited a big part of his estate, is also shot dead. On the home front, Crain is dealing with his daughter’s secretive behavior, his girlfriend’s cool long-distance phone calls and a sudden attraction to an artist. A little Internet investigation rewards the judge with news that Delgado and the evangelist both hid some nasty secrets that lead to the killer.
Not even Crain’s pleasant companionship can make up for the anemic mystery.