Monday, August 12, 2013

Frontlist Features: COMPOUND MURDER by Bill Crider

Most of the Time at Top Suspense we tell you about our backlist, so those of you who don’t know us have a chance to get acquainted with us at your leisure. But we’re also releasing new novels every year, so today kicks off a look at our new suspense novels -- what publishers call our "frontlist" -- that our members have published over the past year. And it turns out that two of us will be releasing new books this week!

First up is Bill Crider, who’s often called the  master of the genre, and his 20th Sheriff Dan Rhodes mystery comes out today, August 13. If you don’t know Dan Rhodes you should. Here's more about the book:

Before classes start one morning, the body of English instructor Earl Wellington is found outside the building of the community college. Wellington was clearly involved in a struggle with someone and has died as a result. Sheriff Dan Rhodes pursues and arrests Ike Terrell, a student who was fleeing the campus. Ike's father is Able Terrell, a survivalist who has withdrawn from society and lives in a gated compound.  He’s not happy that his son has chosen to attend the college, and he's even less happy with the arrest.

Rhodes discovers that Wellington and Ike had had a confrontation over a paper that Wellington insisted Ike plagiarized. Wellington also had had a confrontation with the dean and was generally disliked by the students. As the number of suspects increases, it’s up to Rhodes to solve the murder while also dealing with an amusing but frustrating staff, a professor who wants to be a cop, and all the other normal occurrences that can wreak havoc in a small town.

Here’s what Bill himself says about Sheriff Dan Rhodes and his exploits:

"Compound Murder is the 20th book in the Sheriff Dan Rhodes series.  I wrote it because over the years I've come to enjoy visiting the sheriff and his friends.  Every book is another little piece of the chronicle of Blacklin County, Texas, that I've been working on since the mid-1980s.  It's fun to tell a story over a period of time and show how the town and the people have changed.  Or not changed.  Some people say they get tired of writing a series over time, and Conan Doyle famously tried to kill off Sherlock Holmes so he wouldn't have to write about him anymore.  I don't feel that way at all.  I still have some more stories to tell about Rhodes and the kind of crimes that might not shake the world but that can shake a small town right down to its foundations."

Compound Murder, which comes out today, August 13, has,a s usual, already garnered praise from many quarters, including the following:
"Rhodes, often embarrassingly compared to fictional sheriff Sage Barton, successfully emulates that action hero in the clever and satisfying resolution." Publishers Weekly.
"The latest in the [Sheriff Dan Rhodes] series, Compound Murder: A Dan Rhodes Mystery keeps this fine series rolling along well and is very much worth your time." Kevin Tipple, Blogger News Network
"Every time I see "a Dan Rhodes Mystery" on the cover, I know I'm in for a good time . . . Dan keeps the peace in and around Clearview, Texas with a supporting cast as outrageous as that in Sheriff Andy Taylor's Mayberry. Y'all have fun, now, ya hear?" Meritorious Mysteries.

Compound Murder is available at all the usual suspects in every conceivable format, but here are links to Amazon, our preferred vendor.

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