Burt Collins is just one of those difficult folks that Sheriff Dan Rhodes has to deal with on a daily basis. Burt Collins has a very narrow view of the world and Rhodes has to listen to him complain and demand action. His latest issue is that he doesn’t like the artists that have shown up all over Clearview, Texas. To hear Burt Collins talk those artists, who are in town for a workshop being taught by a couple of county residents, are an infestation that has to be removed before they ruin everything. Burt Collins doesn’t like the artists, the organizers involved, and plenty of other things in Clearview or in Blacklin County, Texas. Not that Rhodes is of a mind to do anything about the artists even if there was a legal reason and there is not.
Burt Collins has been known to say quite a lot of offensive things over the years and certainly hasn’t mellowed with age. He has also been known to do a few things. While it may not have been good enough for a court of law folks know he’s behind some of the petty vandalism and crimes that has gone on in the area. So, after a number of paintings by the visiting artists are vandalized isn’t surprising that Burt Collins in the number one suspect for nearly everyone. He has that reputation after all and was found at the scene of the crime minutes after the vandalism was done.
It also isn’t surprising that Burt Collins is soon very much dead thanks to having his head bashed in. It is also pretty clear that in all likelihood the murder weapon was a bust of Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Find the bust and Sheriff Dan Rhodes might just find the killer.
It would go quicker if he didn’t have to deal with some runaway donkeys, a series of convenience store robberies, a naked woman wandering around, and meth cookers with serious firepower. To top it all off, Dan Rhodes can’t even have a decent Dr. Pepper thanks to their closing of the bottling facility in Dublin. That also means the joy is gone from eating peanut butter crackers while sitting in his courthouse office and thinking.
Scheduled to be released on August 12th, Half In Love With Artful Death: A Dan Rhodes Mystery is another very good read in a great series. All the usual suspects readers love along with Rhodes are present in this latest tale set in East Texas. A member of the “Texas Literary Hall of Fame,” this award winning author keeps turning out quality reads year in and year out. He has done it again with Half In Love With Artful Death: A Dan Rhodes Mystery and shows how you can mix a little humor, some mystery, some action, and a whole bunch of asking questions into yet another very good read. Highly recommended.
If you are new to the series it would be best to start in the beginning with Too Late To Die. While there is not really any character development in this novel as they were set long ago, the interplay between some of the characters goes back years and would be more appreciated by those who know the context of the series.
Half In Love With Artful Death: A Dan Rhodes Mystery
A Thomas Dunne Book (Minotaur Books)
August 12, 2014
Hardback (also available in e-book form)
ARC was provided by the author in exchange for an objective review.
Kevin R. Tipple ©2014