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Of All Sad Words [Mass Market Paperback]

Bill Crider
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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First Sentence
WHEN HE WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL, SHERIFF DAN RHODES HAD BEEN compelled to memorize poetry. Read the first page
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5.0 out of 5 stars lighted hearted murder mystery series Sept. 29 2009
By D. Sale
I highly recommend this easy reading murder mystery series by fellow author Bill Crider. I have been a fan of his Sheriff Dan Rhodes series since I began reading them after finding one in a library garage sale and giving it a new home. One read and I was hooked. Corresponding with the author to let him know personally how much I enjoyed reading it, I became hooked on his friendship. For some reason they are not available in Canadian bookstores, but thankfully they are readily available online.
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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reviewing: "Of All Sad Words" June 27 2008
By Kevin Tipple - Published on Amazon.com
Blacklin County, Texas is a fairly, quiet place most of the time which is how Sheriff Dan Rhodes likes it. His idea of a citizens' Sheriff's Academy had seemed like a good idea at the time in that it would teach folks about the department and generate some good publicity. Now he is getting flack over it from some, most notably county judge Jack Parry. Parry is convinced that some who went through the academy recently are vigilantes. There is more to his complaint but it boils down to the universal idea of politics and micromanagement.

Sheriff Dan Rhodes is finally saved from the county judge by a call about a trailer house explosion. The Crawford brothers, who have a bit of a reputation around the area, may have been inside when it blew. There had been accusations that the Crawford's were running a meth lab, something not uncommon these days in the East Texas woods. Rhodes never caught the Crawford's selling anything-not even Amway.

And while one brother has survived the blast, another has not and it quickly becomes clear that it was a murder. A murder that in the minds of some was caused by politics. Murder, that in the eyes of some others was caused by alleged drug dealing. No matter the cause, Sheriff Dan Rhodes intends to find out and isn't gong to let small town politics over a variety of matters stand in his way.

I'm ashamed to admit that this book, which was recommended to me by a friend, is my first Bill Crider novel. It puts me in the mind of the J. W. Jackson series penned by the late and missed Philip R. Craig. True, Sheriff Rhodes doesn't offer any recipes and is clearly not set anywhere near Martha's Vineyard. But, there is that same slow comfortable way of story telling that gradually spins the novel out while detailing the real world characters that live in the Dan Rhodes world. Instead of starting with an abrupt bang, this is the kind of book that slowly begins and allows the reader to get to know the people just a little bit before presenting the problem.

The result is a 265 page read featuring a steady hero who knows his limitations. This is a character, as well as many of the minor characters, that have universal appeal on one hand and are clearly Texan on the other. Dogged in his pursuit of justice Sheriff Dan Rhodes follows a trail with grace under pressure and a reserved calmness most of the time. Along the way, he deals with a variety of events and people from all walks of life who may or may not have his best interests at heart.

And he hooked a new reader.

Kevin R. Tipple © 2008
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another great addition to this series Feb. 20 2008
By Armchair Interviews - Published on Amazon.com
Of All Sad Words by Bill Crider is his newest book (#15 in this mystery series) featuring Sheriff Dan Rhodes.

The title comes from a couplet that Sheriff Rhodes recalls from his school days-"Of all the sad words of tongue and pen, The saddest of are these: `it might have been'." The sheriff though thinks that the saddest might be "It seemed like a good idea at the time." This phrase is particularly relevant to the Citizen's Sheriff Academy. There are concerns that the academy is breeding vigilantes. The concerns become sharper when a trailer home blows up and a body is found, especially since the trailer belonged to brothers who members of the academy suspected of running a meth lab.

The story moves briskly from that point, introducing the reader to a plethora of quirky small town characters, all of whom have their own idea of what Sheriff Rhodes should be doing. Thus while organizing the investigation into explosion and murder, the sheriff also deals with web sites, UFOs, possums-and a book signing for a new novel which details the life of a "handsome crime-busting sheriff," based very loosely on Dan Rhodes-not to mention the members of that Citizen's Sheriff Academy who all seem to have their own interest in the case.

Bill Crider has produced a story that is an even mix of humor and action. There are characters from previous novels, but the book is quite readable without having read the previous Sheriff Dan Rhodes stories. I especially like the way that the people in the novel interact. Dan's relationship with his wife is a delight.

This will be a series that I go back to find the earlier novels to learn more about these people. While the title is Of All Sad Words, I am not at all sad to have picked it up.

Armchair Interviews says: Sheriff Dan Rhodes can be counted on to bring a good story.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Of Whisky, Murder, and UFOs April 28 2010
By L. W. Chavis - Published on Amazon.com
This book was my introduction to Sheriff Dan Rhodes of Blacklin County, TX, and, I must say, I wish it had occurred much sooner. In Sheriff Rhodes, Mr. Crider has created a near-perfect example of a rural sheriff. Not only does he have murders to solve, Sheriff Rhodes must deal with officious comissioners, lonely little old ladies, imaginary animals, and a citizen whose electricity has been stolen by UFOs. All in a day's work, though, and alongside the dry humor with which Rhodes deals with these details is a real mystery, and real danger.

This was an excellent book, and I'll be looking for more in this series.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I am delighted to discover the Sheriff Dan Rhodes mysteries -- and happy there are so many more to read July 19 2009
By M. C. Crammer - Published on Amazon.com
This mystery is a mixture of police procedural and cozy mystery -- the setting -- in a rural Texas county -- makes it "cozy" but the style is police procedural. An engaging lead character, Dan Rhodes, is laid back, astute, believable, and likeable. He is surrounded by a cast of characters, including two of his staff (who are ruthlessly honest in discussing his failings in front of him), a devoted wife Ivy (who is trying to get him to eat healthy food, including grilled eggplant), a judge who calls him in to lecture him, a county commissioner who calls him in to lecture him, a county resident who is convinced that flying saucers are stealing his electricity, a math professor who likes to write humorous folk songs a al Tom Lehrer, etc. The book begins with a mobile home that's just exploded (meth lab or propane tank?); a body is found nearby. Before you know it, Rhodes and his able deputy Ruth are attacked. The pace moves right along, as Rhodes tries to figure out who is the killer and what the motive is -- and is it related to some moonshining in his county? Are there vigilantes involved?

This is an intelligent and engaging series that baby boomers are likely to enjoy (many references to music of the sixties) and that will likely appeal to both men and women. It's not serious literature but it's seriously enjoyable. I look forward to reading more in the series.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sheriff Dan is still the best March 28 2008
By Dale - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I always look forward to the next Bill Crider book and I am never disappointed. He has written many good books about some great characters but Dan Rhodes is my favorite of all of them. The folksy charm of rural Texas is evident in every one of the Sheriff Dan books. This latest installment is as good as any in the series. The sheriff has to deal with lots of oddball characters while trying to solve a murder and in the meantime the sheriff has become somewhat of a celebrity. It seems a book has been written that is loosely based on his life and the authors are in town for an autograph signing party with Dan as the guest of honor. This is a very enjoyable read from a wonderful Texas author.
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