Monday, November 10, 2008
Are you a fan of police procedurals? Or, do you read mystery series for the continuing characters? Do you prefer your mysteries with descriptive settings? You can read Steven F. Havill's third Posadas County mystery, Twice Buried, and it will satisfy all of those requirements.
Undersheriff Bill Gastner is back in Posadas County, a New Mexico border county. Since 86-year-old Anna Hocking was known for crying wolf when she called the sheriff's department, Gastner didn't hurry in response to a late night call. When he did arrive, he found her dead at the foot of the cellar steps. It could have been an accident, but something about the scene bothered Gastner, and he wanted to poke around a little more.
While working that case, he went to the house of another senior, Reuben Fuentes, 94, and the great-uncle of Gastner's former deputy Estelle Reyes-Guzman. Reuben's story of poisoned dogs, and his run-in with a realtor leave Gastner uneasy, but things escalate when Reuben becomes a murder suspect. The only thing Gastner can do is request Estelle's help in dealing with her uncle.
Havill's mysteries capture the importance of relationships and connections in police work in small communities. They vividly portray the harsh living conditions in this desert area. But, Havill's greatest strength is in his characters, particularly Gastner and Reyes-Guzman. If you get caught up in their business, you'll return again and again to this series. Twice Buried is only the third book. There are more exciting Posadas County mysteries to come.
Twice Buried by Steven F. Havill. Poisoned Pen Press, published 2000. ISBN 9781890208462 (paperback), 193p.