Thank you, Carl, for so graciously sharing another review here. I would be so lost without my friends who are so willing to share blog material, especially now.
By Frederick Ramsay
Poisoned Pen Press, August 2005
Small town, male sheriff protagonist, religious murder with larger implications
The sheriff, Ike Schwartz, has retired from the world stage of law enforcement. He likes this small town of Picketsville where most of his time is spent smoozing with the citizens and dealing with the administration of his small department.
The characters in his department are close to being clichés. And we have a classic town vs. gown dance. But every time the novel starts to drift into the ho-hum, a couple of things make a big difference. First, there is Samantha Ryder, a slick, leggy and very bright computer wizard who not only towers over the sheriff in height, but her understanding of the use of computers in law enforcement even in this small municipality, is becoming legendary. That’s particularly true with the sheriff who sometimes can’t find the power switch on the things.
Then there’s the local college president. There’s no denying the attraction between the highly educated, sophisticated president of Callend College and the sheriff, even if an observer might be hard pressed to figure out why. But they don’t really care, except that Sheriff Ike seems to have a predilection for tossing barbed comments at her faculty on frequent occasions. It keeps the relationship fresh.
Then Waldo gets murdered. Now here’s a quiet inoffensive not-very-talented church organist. Who’d want to kill him? And in the very place he works of a Sunday, the Stonewall Jackson Memorial Episcopalian Church. And why did some people think he was a little creepy? Not only that it’s a double tap. That is, twice shot, once dead.