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by Joyce and Jim Lavene
Avalon, February 2004
192 pages
ISBN: 0803496389

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

The characters in this series are priceless. Ernie is one of the deputies who has known Sheriff Sharyn Howard for years. He is talking marriage. Marvella is the newest deputy; she is ticked off because she has only been working two weeks and cannot be issued with a gun as per regulations. She is spunky with a great deal of spirit. Watching her deal with the reporters shows her fortitude and intelligence.

Nick is the county medical examiner and may or may not be the right guy for Sharyn. It is definitely fun to watch their interaction. Sharyn is certainly the most interesting character as I have observed her growth in the last few books I have read. Every installment allows me to find out some more information about her. She has encountered many obstacles. Her father was the previous sheriff and many people did not think she could fill his shoes. They questioned her competency.

Another character not mentioned earlier is Jack Winters. This man seems to be an arch rival of Sharon. He is always around an unexpected corner with a competitive edge to whatever his problem is at the time. I expect that we will continue to see snippets of him in future books.

Problems that Sharyn has to undertake are twofold. First The Silver Dollar Gang has caused concern and fear in the community. Someone is burglarizing homes and at the first home, this group took some silver dollars, hence their name. Every time the sheriff comes close to zeroing in on them, there is a road block.

The second problem is murder. A young college student was brutally murdered. Sam (a man dating Sharyn's Aunt Selma) is accused because he was found at the scene holding the knife. After the suspect was rough-housed, Sharyn decides to become even more involved. The authorities in that jurisdiction are very sensitive about having her on their premises, but she is resourceful in figuring out how to solve these tribulations.

This North Carolina setting is the backdrop for characters that I have grown to like (most of them) and relationships that are rich with humor and depth. This installment is the eighth in the series.

Reviewed by Rita Ratacheck, February 2004

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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