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Carrie S. Masek"No one in Perdue, TX bothers to lock their doors. Perdue's that kind of town--friendly and safe. Mystery writer Taylor Madison wants to settle down to a quiet life in Perdue with the town's sexy new sheriff, Cal Arnette. However, only a few months after solving the murder of Cal's predecessor, she discovers another body. This time it's the skeletal remains of Ralph Posey, the late and unlamented husband of Taylor's elderly friend Bo Posey. Everyone in Perdue had assumed Ralph left town over thirty years ago, but the forensic evidence proves he was murdered and stuffed up the chimney of Bo's guesthouse. Bo becomes the chief suspect in the murder investigation. Taylor, determined to prove Bo's innocence and despite Cal's pleas to stay out of it, begins her own investigation. Her well-meaning interference jeopardizes Cal's job and triggers an attempt on Bo's life. Friendly, safe Perdue harbors secrets. Secrets someone is willing to kill for. Secrets Taylor must uncover before the killer strikes again.
TWICE DEAD is a fast-paced, well-plotted murder mystery. Ms. Dearl plays fair with her readers. She serves up all the necessary clues, but mixes them with enough intriguing red herrings to make the exciting ending surprising as well as satisfying.
As much as I enjoyed watching Taylor unravel the mystery of Ralph Posey's death, I enjoyed the characters she met along the way even more. The inhabitants of Perdue are well developed and fascinating, particularly Bo, the crusty, eighty-five year old murder suspect, Faith, her ice-princess daughter, and Harvey Neville, an obese Paul Newman look alike obsessed with ballerinas. Taylor's relationship with Cal adds depth to the story, and Hazel, her delightful ferret, offers a welcome dash of comic relief.
"Readers familiar with Ms. Dearl's first Taylor Madison mystery, DIAMONDBACK, will be delighted with her second outing. Others are in for a treat. A clever mystery, full of quirky, well-drawn characters, TWICE DEAD makes a great summer read. I highly recommend it."
—Scribes World Reviews