Monday, September 01, 2008

PAINT THE TOWN DEAD by Nancy Bell (Thomas Dunne Books)

I was a big fan of Bell's Biggie Weatherford series, mostly because I loved the voice. Now I'm a fan of the Judge Jackson Crain series mostly because I really like the characters and the way Bell includes the small Texas town as a character. Jackson, a widower with a teenaged daughter, is a close friend of Sheriff Gibs, who occasionally requests Jackson's sleuthing skills.

When a hotshot real estate tycoon is murdered, all eyes turn to his wife (whose money the deceased used to propel himself to wealth). Neither Jackson nor Gibbs is convinced of the widow's guilt, so Jackson probes deeper into the deceased former life—where he finds the glamorous evangelist, Sister McDermott.

While Jackson is busy solving the murder, life in Post Oak, Texas continues to evolve, introducing readers to delightful characters we'll want to get to know better.

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