Life is never easy for Texas Sheriff Dan Rhodes. When he is called in the middle of the night to investigate gunshots at a haunted house, Rhodes finds the body of meth dealer Neil Foshee. Recently released from jail, Foshee has his fair share of potential murderers, including former girlfriend Vicki, her new boyfriend, the nephew of Clearview's mayor, and Foshee's criminal cousins Earl and Louie.
Complicating matters is Seepy Benton, the community college math professor who has a new summer job. He's founded Clearview Paranormal Investigations and wants to solve the murder by communing with Foshee's ghost. But when he connects with something else instead and a second body is found, Rhodes is left with more questions than ever. Who's the dead person? How long has the body been hidden? Is Benton really able to communicate with ghosts? And most importantly: What, if anything, does the body have to do with Neil Foshee's death?
Between the Living and the Dead, Bill Crider's latest installment in the critically-acclaimed Sheriff Dan Rhodes mystery series, finds Rhodes dealing with ghost hunters, runaway bulls, and assorted low-level crimes, including prosecuting people who don't use their turn signals. It's all in a day's work in Clearview, Texas.
Sheriff Dan Rhodes, who made his debut in 1986's Too Late to Die, is still going strong in Crider's 22nd mystery featuring the Texas lawman (after 2014's Half in Love with Artful Death). A long-abandoned house in Clearview, Tex., has a reputation for being haunted, and that is grist for series regular C.P. Benton, who tells the sheriff he plans to open Clearview Paranormal Investigations. Reports of gunshots at the house lead Rhodes and Deputy Ruth Grady to the body of meth dealer Neil Foshee. Rhodes hunts for answers from the victim's cousins, Earl and Louie Foshee, who share Neil's interest in illegal drugs. The sheriff also has to deal with poor Elberta Hovey, who says she was robbed of $9 million, and Brad Turner, who wears a tinfoil hat for protection. A loose bull and wild hogs add to the fun. As always, Rhodes figures things out, but it's the journey that makes this amiable series so entertaining.