About the book:
Sheriff Piper Blackwell’s three-day vacation with old Army buddies ends in tragedy. At the same time, a vile hate crime along a county road enrages her department. Their forces divided, Piper and her deputies must solve both cases before tensions boil and threaten the rural fabric of Spencer County, Indiana. Only eight months on the job, the young sheriff must weave together clues to uncover both a killer and a secret that could scar her soul.
“Piper Blackwell is a smart and capable small-town sheriff, a thoroughly modern woman who leads a colorful cast of characters in this entertaining read. Well-crafted and suspenseful, THE DEAD OF JERUSALEM RIDGE adroitly threads the needle between Cozy, Procedural, and Action-Thriller. Jean Rabe’s fans⸺both old and new⸺won’t want to miss this one.
⸺ Baron R. Birtcher, multi-award winner, and LA Times Bestselling author
“I need for it to be gone. For them to be gone. I’ve been complaining about it ever since Anthony moved in there and hung up that Buddha sign. Six months going on seven. I’ve been bringing it to the county’s attention for near seven months now. Wasn’t so egregious at first, that temple.” Chris made a fist, squeezing his hand so tight the knuckles turned snow white.
Oren was surprised Chris had the word egregious in his vocabulary.
“There wasn’t no one come around the place at first,” Chris continued. “There wasn’t a sign at the beginning. It was just Anthony. All through the winter it was just him. And I liked him, Oren, back when he was a kid and lived there with his dad. Back before he went all weird after high school and moved to Thailand to be a Buddha. But lately, since … oh, say … the first part of May, maybe it started in April, yeah April … there’s been up to a dozen people there. Some visiting for the day, some staying for longer. Looks like a couple of them are living there permanent. All men. Who knows what they’re doing over there? Lighting incense, praying to a fat statue. Who knows what they’re doing? Just men. I know it ain’t right.”
Oren shifted back and forth from his heels to the balls of his feet. He thought about the roast he’d be sitting down to in a little more than an hour. Definitely going to have a glass of wine with it—or two. When they’d made the trip to Walmart for the big TV they bought a few bottles of a Cabernet Sauvignon. Time to open one.
“They’ve not hurt anyone, Chris. Not that I can tell. The department hasn’t gotten complaints from anyone else about them. Just from you.”
“Well, I ain’t letting it drop. And I ain’t the only one who’s upset. Maybe they ain’t complaining to you, the other folks from Fulda, but they’re complaining. I been talking to a lot of people in the county about it, and not just the ones that live along this stretch of road. I ain’t the only one who’s upset, I say again. Even my wife—”
“Is Joan complaining too?” Oren wondered. Chris’ wife was a reasonable soul. Maybe he could talk to her and that would help calm Chris. “Can I speak with—”
“My Joanie ain’t here.” Chris’ eyes grew dark and his jaw clenched. “She’s at her sister’s in Owensboro. Staying there. Been there a few weeks. She’s not coming back until the Buddhas are gone.”
Oren shook his head. “I’m sorry about that, Chris. You—”
“—could get the sheriff to do something about them.” Chris gestured again at the saltbox. “That’s what you’re getting paid for, why you’re with the department, to take care of problems in this county. That’s a problem. A big ass problem. I had a good life here until they showed up. I’ll get that good life back when they leave. You should’ve won the election, Oren. If you’d won, them Buddhas would be gone right now. Hell, they wouldn’t’ve even set up shop.”
The fourth book in the popular Piper Blackwell Mystery Series begins with a bang. The reader is smack-dab in the middle of the action. I must admit, it took me a couple of chapters to get into the flow, mostly due to the fact I had very little knowledge of the games being played. After my “Ah-ha” moment, the storyline sailed.
A fun-filled weekend with Army buddies turns deadly. A hate crime in the small Southern Indiana community leads to murder. The young sheriff has her hands full, once again. With the help of her team, Chief Deputy Oren Rosenberg, and lead detective, Basil Meredith, a Chicago transplant, Piper must overcome personal injury and grief to solve two separate murder cases. Even Piper’s father, former Spencer County Sheriff, Paul Blackwell, gets in on the pursuit.
The action in Jean Rabe’s series, never stops. The fast-paced storyline and fascinating characters keep the reader engrossed and entertained. Her descriptions are chilling. “Chris Hagee’s prejudice grew so thick love couldn’t fit inside the walls anymore.”
I’m left with one big question. Will there be a fifth Piper adventure? If you’re in to cozy, police action, or murder mystery, this book and series will not disappoint.
Kudos to the author on another winner!
About the author:
My home is filled with dogs and books. Lots of dogs and books. I wear worn out sandals to work every day. I’m a mystery writer living in a tiny Midwestern town that has a gas station, a Dollar General, and a marvelous pizza place with exceedingly slow service. I am always working on a new project or three. I have forty-some books published in the fantasy, science fiction, urban fantasy, and mystery genres. But I’m concentrating on mysteries now. In my spare time I dabble in roleplaying games and boardgames. And at every opportunity, I toss tennis balls to my cadre of dogs.
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