Grave Undertaking (Buryin' Barry Clayton Series #2)

Grave Undertaking (Buryin' Barry Clayton Series #2)

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by Mark de Castrique, Mark De Castrique
     
 

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Barry Clayton has left the Charlotte police force to manage his ailing father's funeral home in the peace and quiet of the Appalachian mountains. But Buryin' Barry is an undertaker with a problem he keeps finding unwanted business.

Moving a grave on a snowy mountainside should be routine. No funeral, no procession, no grieving widow to console. Routine until

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Overview

Barry Clayton has left the Charlotte police force to manage his ailing father's funeral home in the peace and quiet of the Appalachian mountains. But Buryin' Barry is an undertaker with a problem he keeps finding unwanted business.

Moving a grave on a snowy mountainside should be routine. No funeral, no procession, no grieving widow to console. Routine until Barry unearths an unexpected intruder, a skeleton lying atop the original occupant. A bullet hole in the skull piques his ex-cop curiosity; the photograph of his girlfriend Susan Miller in the murdered man's wallet makes the case very personal. Suddenly, Barry's life is turned upside down, as Susan becomes the prime suspect.

Joining forces with his pal Sheriff Tommy Lee Wadkins, Barry sets out to find the real killer. But a terrible secret had been buried in that mountain grave and one murder is only the down payment someone is willing to pay to keep it hidden. Barry is torn between discovering the solution to the crime and uncovering a part of Susan's past that could destroy their relationship.

When the killer strikes again, Barry learns that even more is at stake. In a duel of deceit and misdirection, one thing becomes crystal clear. Barry's grave undertaking could very well lead to his own funeral.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
It's not every day that the second entry in a series trumps the debut but de Castrique accomplishes just that with this follow-up to Dangerous Undertaking. Set in the Appalachian mountain country of North Carolina, the novel again stars undertaker Barry Clayton, who left his police career in Charlotte to help run the family funeral home. With his dad suffering from Alzheimer's, more of the responsibility for the business falls to Barry. Then trouble develops with his girlfriend, Dr. Susan Miller, when the skeleton of one of her ex-boyfriends is discovered with a bullet hole through its head and a photo of Susan in a pants' pocket. The plot is nicely layered with suspense and will certainly hold readers' interest on its own, but what really stands out about this series is de Castrique's rich yet respectful portrait of life in the Appalachians. Add to that his poignant take on how Alzheimer's' affects a family, and you have a first-rate installment in an excellent series. — Jenny McLarin, Booklist (6/01/2004)
Booklist
Morticians are hot, both in print and on screen....A well-written debut featuring an engaging buddy team and a picturesque setting.
Jenny McLarin
It's not every day that the second entry in a series trumps the debut but de Castrique accomplishes just that with this follow-up to Dangerous Undertaking. Set in the Appalachian mountain country of North Carolina, the novel again stars undertaker Barry Clayton, who left his police career in Charlotte to help run the family funeral home. With his dad suffering from Alzheimer's, more of the responsibility for the business falls to Barry.

Then trouble develops with his girlfriend, Dr. Susan Miller, when the skeleton of one of her ex-boyfriends is discovered with a bullet hole through its head and a photo of Susan in a pants' pocket. The plot is nicely layered with suspense and will certainly hold readers' interest on its own, but what really stands out about this series is de Castrique's rich yet respectful portrait of life in the Appalachians. Add to that his poignant take on how Alzheimer's' affects a family, and you have a first-rate installment in an excellent series.
Booklist

Publishers Weekly
The North Carolina mountain country in winter provides the atmospheric setting for de Castrique's second well-crafted mystery to feature undertaker-sleuth Barry Clayton (after 2003's Dangerous Outing). While moving the old grave of Pearly Johnson, Barry unearths a skeleton lying on top of Johnson's casket with a bullet hole in the skull. In the wallet of the victim, Sammy Calhoun, is a picture of Barry's girlfriend, Dr. Susan Miller. As Barry and his friend, Sheriff Tommy Lee Wadkins, dig for the truth, Susan's status as the prime suspect in Calhoun's murder puts considerable strain on her relationship with Barry. The revelation of past secrets that some highly respected citizens would prefer to remain hidden poses an even greater threat to Barry's well-being. Realistic and sensitively drawn characters, including Barry's Alzheimer's-afflicted father, together with a neat plot that builds to a powerful ending, help lift this poignant novel above the common run of regional cozies. Agent, Linda Allen. (June 9) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781590581162
Publisher:
Poisoned Pen Press
Publication date:
05/15/2004
Series:
Buryin' Barry Clayton Series, #2
Pages:
324
Product dimensions:
5.86(w) x 8.88(h) x 0.94(d)

Meet the Author

Mark de Castrique grew up in the mountains of western North Carolina where he sets his Barry Clayton mystery series. Mark is a veteran of the television and film production industry, and he serves as an adjunct professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Mark and his wife, Linda, live in Charlotte. Final Undertaking is the fourth book in the Buryina Barry series. http://mark-et-al.com/

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