Friday, August 19, 2016

"Survivors Will Be Shot Again"

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 Survivors Will Be Shot Again, the 23rd Dan Rhodes Mystery, and reported the following:
It happens every year.

Every. Single. Year.

What happens? Well you might ask. It’s the Page 69 Test, and each year when Marshal Zeringue asks me to participate, I eagerly open my new book, thinking, “This is it. This is the year when page 69 will have an explosion on it, or a car chase, or a slam­bang shoot­out, or a fight with Sheriff Dan Rhodes taking on a team of ninja assassins and giving them a good butt­kicking.

But alas, it seems never meant to be. Instead we get some small­town crime like a salad bar with no sneeze guard over it. Or somebody’s dog has dug up a neighbor’s flowerbed.

My books do have shoot­outs in them, though, and car chases. Even the occasional explosion. Not to mention alligators and feral hogs. Lots of feral hogs. It’s just that they’re never on page 69.

So what do we have this year? Again, no ninjas. Not even any feral hogs. We do have a scene that I hope will make readers a little curious about what’s going to happen later in the book, however. The scene is on the concluding page of the chapter. Sheriff Dan Rhodes is at the home of a murder suspect, picking up a revolver that the suspect, Billy Bacon, and his wife, Nadine, insist they own only for their protection against home invaders. Rhodes takes the revolver, anyway.

“‘What if the home invaders come tonight?’ Nadine asked.”

Billy takes his wife’s side and tells the sheriff that the revolver will be there whenever Rhodes wants to pick it up for testing.

“Rhodes passed the gun back to him. ‘All right, but keep it handy.’”

“‘We always do,’ Billy said.”

And that’s the end of page 69 and the chapter. I hope the readers want to know more about that revolver and whether the home invaders come. If you want to find out, you’ll have to read the book, though. I’m not telling.
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, Half in Love with Artful Death, and Between the Living and the Dead.

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

--Marshal Zeringue