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The Devil's Hearth [Mass Market Paperback]

Phillip Depoy
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 15 2004 Worldwide Library Mysteries (Book 492)
Where angels fear to tread . . .

Fever Devlin leaves his university job to return to his home in the Georgia Appalachians, prepared to confront the ghosts of his past. But his arrival is greeted with the discovery of a body on the porch of the family cabin -- a corpse that turns out to be a half brother Fever never knew existed.

The truth about the murder and the secrets surrounding Fever's life remain hidden in the determined silence of the locals. He must sort through his quirky family history -- where an adulterous mother, an unnamed father, a secret diary and a priceless church relic become the pieces in a puzzle of grim awakening and dark suspicion.

It takes the brutal murder of an old wood-carver to expose the festering secrets of this mountain community where the dead tell no tales -- and a killer plots to ensure Fever joins their eternal silence.


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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Shamus finalist DePoy (Easy) provides a delightful fireside feast in his sixth whodunit, set in the Georgia Appalachians. Upset with the closing of his folklore section in Burrison University's English department, Dr. "Fever" Devilin decides to spend his next few years writing and coming to grips with the ghosts of his past at the old family cabin up on Blue Mountain. But ghosts seem determined to start and end his journey. Childhood chum Skidmore Needle, now a local deputy, discovers a dead body at the cabin only minutes before Fever's arrival. The corpse turns out to be that of Fever's hitherto unknown half-brother and a messenger from their not-so-dearly departed mother. The cast of characters could've come out of Deliverance, from the dimwit Deveroe brothers to Fever's total city-slicker colleague and friend, Dr. Winton Andrews. A threesome of old men play music, drink 'shine and keep secrets, but Fever is determined to pry some answers from those who may have information about his half-brother's murder. The Devil's Hearth, an eerie outcropping, haunts the mountain and sets the book's tone, and Fever's old flame Lucinda adds some spark. DePoy combines a good mystery with a generous helping of history and legend.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

Praise for Phillip DePoy and The Devil's Hearth

"Phillip DePoy is a born storyteller. To read The Devil's Hearth is to be inside an Applachian folktale as it unfolds, hearing the sounds and rhythms, seeking the glorious colors, and sniffing the irresistible aromas of home cooking in the Georgia hills."---S. J. Rozan, author of Winter and Night

"DePoy skillfully lays out the complex story line, creating intrigue with Flap's approach to sleuthing...and his often humorous underworld characters."---Publishers Weekly on Easy

"Clearly one of the most entertaining regional mysteries on the market today."--- Bookbrowser on Too Easy

"A series that accomplishes the tricky task of being satisfyingly different. Flap is a good storyteller, funny and witty."---Mystery News on Easy

"Magical."---Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Easy
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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I was home, and the mouth of the corpse was open wide. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars A Most Tedious Tale July 17 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This story offers many challenges to those who would read it. The opening pages are turgid with inconsequential prose. You may enjoy it if you can get past the first 50 pages. I didn't, for lack of energy.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Catch Depoy's Fever March 11 2004
Format:Hardcover
Mystery fans, please remove your hats and bow your heads for the passing of a great detective - Flap Tucker, Zen detective, seems to be no more. After four charming, funny and intriguing mysteries(and one alarmingly ill-tempered and pissy one), starring the mysterious and easy-going finder of lost things and set in Atlanta, Georgia author Phillip Depoy seems to have laid Flap to rest.
But enough of the boohooing, boys and girls, because Depoy has rewarded those of us who stuck around after the lights went down with a new hero, one who is much like Flap, but somehow more mature and insightful, while maintaining the former detective's flummoxed charm.
Fever Devilin hails from another part of Georgia, the beautiful and spooky Appalachian Mountains. Fever has been living in self-imposed exile in Atlanta, which is physically only a few hours' drive from the mountains, but is on another planet ideologically. In this first adventure we find him returning home to find a corpse on his front porch, one that turns out to be his half-brother. Fever decides to investigate, but has been gone from his tight-knit and close-mouthed community that he is now considered an outsider and can barely get an answer from his friends and neighbors.
Depoy's characters, as always, are delightfully complex. They are true to themselves and their motivations, even as they are sometimes frustratingly obtuse. The relationship between Fever and his best friend, Skidmore, is a realistic portrayal of two friends, long separated, picking up where they left off, with warmth, trepidation and eventual trust. Fever himself is a worthy successor to Flap.
Depoy writes the Appalachians like he lives them, bringing life to the dark, smoky woods and guiding us through with a tracker's eye. I look forward to the next Fever Devilin mystery.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Catch DePoy's Fever March 11 2004
Format:Hardcover
Mystery fans, please remove your hats and bow your heads for the passing of a great detective - Flap Tucker, Zen detective, seems to be no more. After four charming, funny and intriguing mysteries(and one alarmingly ill-tempered and pissy one), starring the mysterious and easy-going finder of lost things and set in Atlanta, Georgia author Phillip Depoy seems to have laid Flap to rest.
But enough of the boohooing, boys and girls, because Depoy has rewarded those of us who stuck around after the lights went down with a new hero, one who is much like Flap, but somehow more mature and insightful, while maintaining the former detective's flummoxed charm.
Fever Devilin hails from another part of Georgia, the beautiful and spooky Appalachian Mountains. Fever has been living in self-imposed exile in Atlanta, which is physically only a few hours' drive from the mountains, but is on another planet ideologically. In this first adventure we find him returning home to find a corpse on his front porch, one that turns out to be his half-brother. Fever decides to investigate, but has been gone from his tight-knit and close-mouthed community that he is now considered an outsider and can barely get an answer from his friends and neighbors.
Depoy's characters, as always, are delightfully complex. They are true to themselves and their motivations, even as they are sometimes frustratingly obtuse. The relationship between Fever and his best friend, Skidmore, is a realistic portrayal of two friends, long separated, picking up where they left off, with warmth, trepidation and eventual trust. Fever himself is a worthy successor to Flap.
Depoy writes the Appalachians like he lives them, bringing life to the dark, smoky woods and guiding us through with a tracker's eye. I look forward to the next Fever Devilin mystery.
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5.0 out of 5 stars TERRIFIC March 18 2003
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
It's hard for me to emphasize what a good book this is. It has everything one could want: a compelling, well-told story, finely drawn characters, a wonderfully evoked setting, and a literate style. A winner.
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5.0 out of 5 stars superb regional amateur sleuth Jan. 18 2003
Format:Hardcover
When Burrison University English Department shut down his folklore section, Dr. "Fever" Devilin knew it was time to go home to the Georgia Appalachian Mountains. Fever figures that the time is right to write about his home lore yet also put to rest the past that he fled when he first went off to college.
He moves back into his family's cabin on Blue Mountain where Fever plans to reacclimatize from the academia think tank world to the more mellow isolated environs. His best friend from childhood, now Deputy Sheriff Skidmore Needle, arrives at the cabin to greet his old buddy, but finds a corpse just outside the edifice prior to the professor's arrival. They quickly learn that the deceased is Fever's half-brother, a blood relative he never knew he had. Fever wonders if perhaps he was the intended victim and if so why. Unable to heed Skidmore's advice, Fever begins making inquiries into who would want either he or his sibling dead.
THE DEVIL'S HEARTH is a discerningly written regional amateur sleuth that employs some police procedural elements to enhance the feeling of realism. Fever is a delightful lead protagonist who keeps the story line focused. The secondary cast including his buddy, a university colleague, and locals embellishes a powerful plot that delivers a wonderful look at Appalachia folklore interwoven within well designed who-done-it.
Harriet Klausner
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