"It wasn't really a mummy, of course, though Rhodes's first thought had been of Boris Karloff chasing after Zita Johann. This was even worse–a real human being, or what had once been a human being, completely wrapped up in silver duct tape."Thus the sheriff must find out who is robbing the homes of their contents, and who killed the woman and wrapped her up like a mummy, and if the crimes are connected.
This series comes close to being in the cozy genre, the difference being that the protagonist is a sheriff and he is supposed to be looking into the crime and he can ask questions directly because it is his job. And he has access to other police departments and more tools that can actually help him find the criminals.
However, in Dan Rhodes' case, he is allergic to the idea of using computers, or possibly just afraid of them. Hack Jensen, the elderly dispatcher at the county jail, keeps hinting that access to a computer would make his work go better, but Rhodes is in no hurry to modernize their office. Rhodes' detection is based more on intuition and knowledge of people than the use of forensics or databases.
This is a quiet story. There is not a lots of action involved in the investigation, but the story moves along at a nice pace. Rhodes' relationship with Ivy, his fiancé, inches forward. I like Ivy; she is forthright without being pushy. She accepts Rhodes for what is he. And she helps out here and there in investigations, in a realistic way.
There are so many touches I love in this fourth book in the Sheriff Dan Rhodes series. Speedo, the dog, was orphaned in Shotgun Saturday Night, the second book, and Rhodes took him in. Rhodes loves old movies and watches the Million Dollar Movie at lunch time. This book is chock full of references to vintage paperback novels and old movies, even more than previous books in the series. Crider gives the reader an interesting picture of small-town life in Texas and the story is told with low-key humor.
This post was written for the Small-town Sheriffs / Cops theme at Patti Abbott's Friday's Forgotten Books meme for April 15th.
Below is a list of the three earlier books in the series with links to my reviews...
1. Too Late to Die (1986)
2. Shotgun Saturday Night (1987)
3. Cursed to Death (1988)
Please check out Curtis Evans' review of A Mammoth Murder, the thirteenth book in the series, which he calls "a southern country cozy." Curtis blogs at The Passing Tramp.
Publisher: Ivy Books, 1990 (orig. pub. 1989)
Length: 184 pages
Series: Sheriff Dan Rhodes #4
Genre: Police Procedural
Source: I purchased my copy.