Tuesday, August 18, 2015

"Between the Living and the Dead"

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 Between the Living and the Dead, the 22nd Dan Rhodes Mystery, and reported the following:
Once again I have failed to provide an explosion or even a shooting on page 69 of my new book. When will I learn? However, this time page 69 does happen to be the beginning of a chapter (Chapter 7, to be precise), so at least it’s not the middle of something. Here are the opening lines:
Vicki’s eyes widened at Rhodes’s words. “Neil’s dead?”

Rhodes nodded. Vicki didn’t seem to be unhappy about it.

“Who did it?” she asked after a second or two.

“I was hoping you might be able to help me with that,” Rhodes said. “Maybe you know someone who might want to kill him.”

“I didn’t go out with him that much,” Vicki said. “Just a few times. You know what he did to me. If I could’ve killed him then, I might’ve done it myself, but I’m over that now.”
For those with short memories or who (heaven forfend!) haven’t kept up with the books in the Sheriff Rhodes series, Vicki was left naked and afraid on the side of a road in a previous book by a drug­-dealing charmer. Now he’s a murder victim, so the sheriff, who gallantly rescued Vicki from her roadside contretemps, now has to question her about the killing.

So while there’s no explosion, there’s suspicion, a bit of suspense, and a potential suspect. Did she or didn’t she? You’ll have to read the book to find out.
Learn more about the book and author at Bill Crider's website and blog.

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, Murder of a Beauty Shop Queen, Compound Murder, and Half in Love with Artful Death.

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

--Marshal Zeringue