Friday, September 24, 2010

FATAL UNDERTAKING by Mark de Castrique (Poisoned Pen Press)

Who could stop reading a book that starts with, "You want to borrow a casket?" Part-time funeral director and part-time deputy Barry Clayton is incredulous when Archie Donovan makes his request, but he's won over when Archie explains it's for the Jaycees' haunted house at the Halloween charity event. Few mystery readers will be surprised when a dead man turns up in the coffin. The predictable death is followed by some pretty nifty police work and a lot of national news coverage. The investigation in the seemingly close-knit North Carolina mountain community quickly highlights family feuds, large-scale Christmas tree high jackings, and just enough humor to lighten the occasional dark scenes.

I always enjoy de Castrique's books, and this one rates among his best. Come visit North Carolina. You'll be glad you did!

FTC Disclosure - Book was provided by the publisher

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