Along with collecting a car, Sheriff Dan Rhodes has collected a couple of dogs in the course of his many investigations into crime and death in Blacklin County. Usually, he finds the dogs at crime scenes or in the homes of victims. This time a cat finds him.


An ordinary black cat is waiting at his back door one morning.  The cat, wearing a red collar, steps inside as if he owns the place and makes himself at home. Ivy, Dan’s wife for several books now, knows the cat is named Sam and lives with Helen Harris a couple of blocks away. About seventy and a former school school teacher, Helen Harris never lets the cat outside even though she is always outside working in the yard and doing other things.


Ivy knows a lot about Helen since she occasionally goes with her to the OWLS meetings at Clearview Library. The Older Women’s Literary Society (OWLS) is just one of several groups Helen belongs to. Unfortunately, as Sheriff Rhodes soon finds out, Helen won’t be attending the group meetings of anything anymore. Helen is dead in her kitchen and it was murder.


As readers of the series know, Rhodes isn’t into forensic science, the internet, technology or anything that is remotely high tech. Instead, he asks questions of folks over and over again until somebody screws up and he catches them in a lie. Such is the story here in the fourteenth novel of this long running series as Rhodes works the case and also tries to find a new home for the cat. After all, he is allergic to them despite Ivy’s contention that the allergy he has is only psychological.


With frequent allusions to the previous book in the series “A Mammoth Murder” as well as other cases, those readers who are already familiar with the series to this point will appreciate this novel the most. Several running themes such as the young newspaper reporter and her actions, interplay between Hack and Lawton, and others continue making it best to read the series in order. So too does Bill Crider’s wonderful gift of bringing to life the people of Clearview, Texas and surrounding East Texas area in another very interesting story.


Murder Among The Owls: A Sheriff Dan Rhodes Mystery

Bill Crider

Thorndike Press (Thomson Gale)


ISBN #0-7862-9475-2

Hardback—LARGE PRINT Version

363 Pages


This material was provided by the good folks of the Plano, Texas Public Library System.


Kevin R. Tipple © 2009

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