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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Dead, to Begin With

Dead, to Begin With

A Dan Rhodes Mystery

Sheriff Dan Rhodes Mysteries (Volume 24)

Bill Crider

Minotaur Books

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Sheriff Dan Rhodes is back again in Bill Crider's thrilling Dead, to Begin With.

"Readers will cheer Rhodes along as he sorts through a tangle of old secrets and personal relationships en route to the satisfying solution." Publishers Weekly

In Clearview, Texas, a wealthy recluse has joined the community and is leading the restoration of an old opera house. When he falls to his death, Sheriff Dan Rhodes suspects that he’s been murdered, but there doesn’t seem to be a motive. Who would want to kill someone who’s helping the town and hasn’t been around long enough to make any enemies?

The Sheriff’s suspicion proves to be true, however, and he begins to look for motives buried in the past, meanwhile having to deal with people fighting over baseball cards at a yard sale, writers who want to talk to him about his sex life, and the Clearview Ghost Hunters, headed up by Seepy Benton, who believes that the old theater is haunted. Clearview might be a small town, but there’s no shortage of excitement.

Chapter 1


Sheriff Dan Rhodes was at his desk going over some arrest reports when the phone rang.

Hack Jensen, the dispatcher, answered the call. For a few seconds he listened. Then he said, “You sure about where she’s...

Praise for Dead, to Begin With

“Anthony Award–winner Crider's 20th mystery featuring sheriff Dan Rhodes...offers the usual enjoyable combination of witty help from dispatcher Hack Jensen, minor crises like a hog loose in Hannah Bigelow's house, the theft of hair extensions from Lonnie Wallace's Beauty Shack, and a major crime or two....Rhodes, often embarrassingly compared to fictional sheriff Sage Barton, successfully emulates that action hero in the clever and satisfying resolution.” —Publishers Weekly on Compound Murder

“Kudos to Crider for his 20th entry (after Murder of a Beauty Shop Queen)....As expected, humor and comfort are part of the mix.” —Library Journal on Compound Murder

“Since 1986, Crider of Alvin has been turning out novels in his Dan Rhodes series, about a sheriff in fictional Blacklin County who solves folksy mysteries involving barbershop quartets and beauty parlors. This twentieth installment finds Rhodes dealing with the murder of a college instructor, but rest assured, the main character still finds time to ruminate about such Texas glories as his beloved--and now discontinued--Dublin Dr Pepper.” —Texas Monthly on Compound Murder

“Enjoyable . . . Rhodes's encounters with the overly enthusiastic amateur sleuth Seepy Benton and his inability to persuade his colleagues and neighbors that he bears no resemblance to fictional crime-busting sheriff Sage Barton are continuing sources of fun.” —Publishers Weekly on Murder of a Beauty Shop Queen

More…

“Anthony Award–winner Crider's 20th mystery featuring sheriff Dan Rhodes...offers the usual enjoyable combination of witty help from dispatcher Hack Jensen, minor crises like a hog loose in Hannah Bigelow's house, the theft of hair extensions from Lonnie Wallace's Beauty Shack, and a major crime or two....Rhodes, often embarrassingly compared to fictional sheriff Sage Barton, successfully emulates that action hero in the clever and satisfying resolution.” —Publishers Weekly on Compound Murder

“Kudos to Crider for his 20th entry (after Murder of a Beauty Shop Queen)....As expected, humor and comfort are part of the mix.” —Library Journal on Compound Murder

“Since 1986, Crider of Alvin has been turning out novels in his Dan Rhodes series, about a sheriff in fictional Blacklin County who solves folksy mysteries involving barbershop quartets and beauty parlors. This twentieth installment finds Rhodes dealing with the murder of a college instructor, but rest assured, the main character still finds time to ruminate about such Texas glories as his beloved--and now discontinued--Dublin Dr Pepper.” —Texas Monthly on Compound Murder

“Enjoyable . . . Rhodes's encounters with the overly enthusiastic amateur sleuth Seepy Benton and his inability to persuade his colleagues and neighbors that he bears no resemblance to fictional crime-busting sheriff Sage Barton are continuing sources of fun.” —Publishers Weekly on Murder of a Beauty Shop Queen

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Reviews from Goodreads

Bill Crider

BILL CRIDER is the Anthony Award-winning author of the Sheriff Dan Rhodes Mysteries (Red, White, and Blue Murder) and the Professor Sally Good Mysteries (A Knife in the Back). His short story "Cranked", which appeared in Damn Near Dead, was a finalist for an Edgar Award. Crider served for many years as chair of the Division of English and Fine Arts at Alvin Community College. He lives in Texas.

image of Bill Crider o
Photo: Judy Crider

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