Mineral Spirits

Overview

In Mineral Spirits, Sheriff Kip Edelson investigates the story behind a woman's skeleton that a young boy stumbles across on a river bank. He gets a tip that her name was Chris and he knows her death was not accidental-but little else. As he traces Mineral County residents with similar names and seeks clues to who might have killed her and why, a story evolves that includes drug dealers, a shootout, an abandoned boy, and the sheriff's own marital strains.

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Overview

In Mineral Spirits, Sheriff Kip Edelson investigates the story behind a woman's skeleton that a young boy stumbles across on a river bank. He gets a tip that her name was Chris and he knows her death was not accidental-but little else. As he traces Mineral County residents with similar names and seeks clues to who might have killed her and why, a story evolves that includes drug dealers, a shootout, an abandoned boy, and the sheriff's own marital strains.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Sharfeddin's second western (after 2005's Blackbelly) is a sharp, perceptive blend of crime and contemporary life issues. When 10-year-old Gray Dausman reports a badly decomposed body near the Clark Fork River, Kip Edelson, the new sheriff of Montana's sparsely populated Mineral County, is impressed by the boy's bravery, but becomes concerned after he learns about Gray's troubles at home. A tip about the female corpse's identity leads the sheriff to investigate area women with names similar to "Chris," including Gray's missing mother, Kristi Blackhorse, and Christen Vining, the sister of Randy McHugh, owner of a popular tavern. Complicating the situation is the twisted relationship Randy has with Christen, the wife of a drug dealer Kip kills in self-defense. Tight and emotionally satisfying, this impressive novel should gain the author new readers. (Oct.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
There hasn't been a murder in Mineral County, MT, since the stagecoach days. When a woman's skeleton turns up near the Clark Fork River bank, the county's new sheriff, Kip Edelson, becomes obsessed with solving the case. Could the victim be the missing mother of Gray Dausman, the neglected 10-year-old boy who made the grisly discovery? Then the sheriff kills a marijuana farmer in the line of duty, and the crime statistics for Mineral County go through the roof. Although Kip never wanted children, he takes a paternal interest in Gray. Teasingly, he tells the boy he might have to make him a deputy. Those words become prophetic in later chapters, when the sheriff is held prisoner by drug dealers. Sharfeddin's last novel, Blackbelly, received a starred review from LJ; here she blends Western and mystery genres into a fine, heady concoction. Recommended. Keddy Ann Outlaw, Harris Cty. P.L., Houston Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Sheriff investigates a grisly death in a hardscrabble Montana setting. Kip Edelson is the new sheriff in Mineral County and already he's not fitting in. McHugh, proprietor of a historic local bar, senses Kip, unlike his predecessor, won't condone McHugh's pot-dealing sideline. Kip's wife, Robin, wants to return to college in Missoula, and Kip's resistance sours her on their marriage. The discovery of a skeleton, most likely that of a young woman, by ten-year-old Gray, distracts Kip from his personal crisis. An anonymous caller claims the victim's name was Chris, and Kip compiles a list of women by that name. Gray, living with his father and pining for his absent mother, is arrested by the sheriff for starting a fire, and Kip realizes the boy is neglected and virtually starving. When his father takes a new wife, he disclaims paternity of Gray and foster care looms. Kip and Mrs. Sherwood, mother of one of the Chrises that Kip has already ruled out, begin an informal arrangement of caring for the boy. Meanwhile, Kip finds reclusive free spirit Chris Samuelson alluring. On the trail of Christen Vining, McHugh's half-sister, Kip kills her drug-dealer husband in self-defense. Christen goes to jail and McHugh must sell everything to pay her legal expenses and Vining's drug debts. McHugh nurses a guilty passion for his sister: They had a youthful incestuous relationship. Kip traces Gray's mother to Las Vegas, but she ducks her responsibilities. When Kip threatens his wife's lover at gunpoint, social workers intervene and Gray is forced into foster care. This frenetic story does not always bear up under close scrutiny, but Sharfeddin's empathy for her characters and sense of place keeps the readerengrossed. Another crossed-off Chris, a trailer-park prostitute, knows more than is first apparent about the skeleton's identity and Christen Vining's true role in her late husband's risky business. When Kip and Gray stumble into a confrontation between McHugh and the bad guys, a bang-up finish ensues. A spellbinding, high-country thriller.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781882593989
  • Publisher: Bridgeworks - Warren Phillips
  • Publication date: 10/25/2006
  • Pages: 264
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.58 (h) x 0.86 (d)

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