Monday, August 26, 2013

"Compound Murder"

Bill Crider is the winner of two Anthony Awards and an Edgar Award finalist. An English college professor for many years, he’s published more than seventy-five crime, Western, and horror novels, as well as a number of children’s books.

Crider applied the Page 69 Test to Compound Murder, the 18th Dan Rhodes Mystery, and reported the following:
Well, it’s happened again. I’ve made a typical mistake. You see, last year when I did a Page 69 Test, I promised myself that the next book I wrote was going to have something spectacular on page 69, maybe an explosion, maybe a gunfight, maybe a fiery car crash.

But did that happen? It did not. Here I am, looking at page 69 of Compound Murder, the new book in the Sheriff Dan Rhodes series. No explosion, no gunfight, no car crash. Just Sheriff Rhodes in a typical situation, struggling to subdue what appears to be a wild hog that’s invaded a house in the small town of Clearview.

He’s been somewhat successful, but there are still a few problems:
... Rhodes couldn’t let go. He said [to the owner of the house] “Call the Sheriff’s Deparment. When you get Hack Jensen, hand me the phone.”

“You have your hands full already,” Hannah said.

“Don’t worry about that. Just make the call.”

“What’s the number?” Hannah asked.

Rhodes gave it to her, speaking up to be heard over the squealing of the pig, and she punched it in. When Hack answered, she said, “Mr. Jensen, this is Hannah Bigelow again.”

She listened for a moment and said, “Yes, the sheriff is here. He’s holding onto a wild pig right not, but he wants to talk to you.”
Will Sheriff Rhodes vanquish the pig? Will he even be able to talk on the phone? Will Hack Jensen send help?

Okay, so it’s not an explosion. You have to admit there’s suspense, however, and now you’ll have to read the book to discover the answers those burning questions.

Next year, though, an explosion. Trust me.
Learn more about the book and author at Bill Crider's website and blog.

Ed Gorman has praised Crider's "skills with characterization and milieu" and called the author "a master plotter."

Read the Page 69 Test entries for Crider's A Mammoth Murder, Murder Among the OWLS, Of All Sad Words, Murder in Four Parts, Murder in the Air, The Wild Hog Murders, and Murder of a Beauty Shop Queen.

Learn about Crider's choice of actors to portray Dan Rhodes on the big screen.

--Marshal Zeringue