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Winning can be murder [Paperback]

Bill Crider


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Book Description

2000 Sheriff Dan Rhodes Mysteries
While all of Blacklin County, Texas, celebrates the first winning season of high-school football in years, Sheriff Dan Rhodes finds himself dealing with drunken festivities, fights, and the murder of the team's offensive coach.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 251 pages
  • Publisher: Worldwide (2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0373263546
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373263547
  • Product Dimensions: 16.3 x 10.2 x 1.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 91 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,659,298 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Texans take their high-school football seriously-seriously enough for murder in the eighth Sheriff Dan Rhodes mystery (after Murder Most Fowl). For the first time since 1949, Clearview has a shot at the state championship, and the town is ecstatic. In the final seconds of a grueling, fight-filled game in which Clearview trails by one after scoring a touchdown, an argument erupts on the sidelines between head coach Jasper Knowles and offensive coach Brady Meredith. Knowles goes for two and wins the game. The next day, Meredith turns up dead. Rhodes, who knows the town's oddsmaker was also at the game, suspects a point-shaving scheme. The town sports reporter tells him that Meredith had been playing around with a fellow coach's wife, and there are rumors that someone might have been providing steroids for the team. The steroid angle looks good when Rhodes finds out that a drug-dealing biker is back in town. A second murder temporarily throws him off the scent, but, slowly and surely, the poised sheriff questions his way through the high-school sports hierarchy until he uncovers the killer. Although some good-old-boy shenanigans spice up the straightforward investigation, Crider keeps a leisurely pace. In fact, his writing is nearly as phlegmatic as the methodical, unrattled Rhodes.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Sheriff Dan Rhodes hates the consequence of Blacklin County's first winning season of high school football-the murder of the team's offensive coach. Series fans and others will appreciate this return to rural Texas and Crider's memorable characters.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I know these characters! Aug. 6 2000
By Judith Lindenau - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Yup! I've never been to Texas, but right here in Northern Michigan. I can find Bill Crider's world of insane, inane, and very funny small town residents. And trust me, they go nuts over high school football. In rural Texas, two murders keep Sheriff Dan Rhodes at the center of politics, drugs, and gambling that surround a winning team. But as the sheriff discovers, these murders aren't about people, they are about football. And a winning team. And keeping The Boys in the playoffs. Not only is "Winning Can Be Murder" an excellent mystery novel--well constructed and populated with delightful characters, it is a comment on social values of a small town. Throughout the action, a variety of small town dignitaries exhort Sheriff Dan to solve the murders so the team won't be distracted from winning the playoffs. He does, and the town will never be the same.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars #8 in the Sheriff Dan Rhodes series April 14 2007
By Corinne H. Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
In Texas, winning at football isn't everything -- it's the ONLY thing. Residents of the Blacklin County town of Clearview, Texas, are riding the wave of a great football season for the high school team, the Clearview Catamounts. The team is in the district playoffs, and this book begins with them narrowly winning against the district favorites, the Garton Greyhounds. But the game is interrupted by a bench-clearing melee that Sheriff Dan Rhodes has to help dissolve. Also noticeable is a side-line dispute between Clearview's head coach, Jasper Knowles, and his offensive line coach, Brady Meredith. Hours later, Brady is found shot to death in his car, parked behind the stadium. Who could have committed such a murder? Had Brady been perhaps betting on the games and attempting to shave points? Is that why known gambler Hayes Ford has been hanging around? Or does the murder have something to do with Terry Deedham, wife of defensive coach Bob Deedham, and the fact that Terry's been seen dancing on Saturday nights with Brady Meredith at the local honky-tonk? And why is Rapper (a thug from the second book, "Shotgun Saturday Night") back in town with his motorcycle gang?

When Hayes Ford is later found murdered in his bedroom, the pressure escalates on Dan Rhodes. Everyone in town is worried about how these incidents will affect the football players. Can Rhodes resolve both crimes before the Catamounts' next game? And can he do it without discovering anything that will force the Catamounts to forfeit their wins?

Crider has woven an excellent mystery here. It would have been perfect and deserving of five stars except for two seemingly minor errors. As Dan Rhodes is making a final sort through the facts, he refers to Brady's wife in the text as Nancy Deedham, not Nancy Meredith (p. 208). And the cover (which is beyond the author's control, but the publisher should have known better) shows a school pennant that reads "Catamount Bobcats" instead of "Clearview Catamounts." Nevertheless, both mystery and football fans will enjoy this read.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reviewing: "Winning Can Be murder" by Bill Crider Dec 21 2008
By Kevin Tipple - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
It is no stretch to say football is the game and religion of Texas. Outsiders just don't understand how important football is to the people of Texas. Especially the people who live in small towns. The signs out the town's edge may get faded and rusted but for the people that lived in that town, the glorious championship just happened yesterday. Or, the heartbreaking loss for that matter.

Sheriff Dan Rhodes understands that concept and he remembers his glory on the football field that passed quickly. While he does lament that a little, he has moved on unlike many who hit their peak in High School and nothing was as good since. Trapped in the past of their youth they just can't help themselves. Now as Sheriff the fact that Clearview High is very close to a state championship games just means a lot more work. The last time they got close was 1949 and a lot has changed over the years. Rhodes isn't a kid growing up listing to his Dad talk about the blowout loss. Now he is a sheriff of a small department that will have to work crowd control at tonight's playoff game, fights at clubs in town, minor's drinking and a host of other issues. If the team wins again and they advance further into the playoffs, they will all have to do it all over again next weekend.

What Sheriff Rhodes didn't expect was a near riot at the game over a late hit. Emotions ran high and it took a lot to get both teams back to playing the game. He also didn't expect to see an assistant coach for Clearview High take a swing at the head coach. And he certainly didn't expect there to be a murder after the game.

But all that and plenty more happened in short order. Long before the body is cold Rhodes has the whole county pushing him to get the case solved. After all, a man is dead but the team has a state championship to win. The team doesn't need the distraction of having to wait for the killer of their assistant football coach to be caught. Football is the main priority for nearly every one and Rhodes isn't happy about that either.

Or the fact that Rapper is back in town and as low down mean as ever.

Eighth in a very good series this novel takes readers back to the East Texas countryside and Blacklin County, Texas. The county seat is Clearview, which is a small town. However, all the ills of the big city are present and others unique to country living which means Rhodes always has plenty to do with or without backup. Comfortably married to Ivy, despite her dietary choices which have kind of ruined food, Rhodes is a man that doesn't cave to outside pressures or uses new fangled technology to investigate cases.

Instead, he travels around the county asking lots of questions. Somebody sooner or later makes a mistake, the secret is out, and Rhodes catches them in a lie. One thing leads to another and behind all the dirt and worries about the latest scandal, Rhodes figures out the murder and arrests him or her. That same formula is at work here and makes for a mighty good read.

Those looking for graphic violence, gratuitous sex, or name dropping of expensive items won't find it here. Instead, one finds a simple and honest lawman, one that has his roots in the Texas of yesterday, taking care of business one step at a time.

Kevin R. Tipple (copyright) 2008
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Cozy In Disguise Jan. 29 2000
By Northeast Texas Reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
In "Winning Can Be Murder", Mr. Crider explores the mystic of Texas High School Football. If you are not from a football state, you might not appreciate this book to the fullest. The Sheriff Dan Rhodes series are cozies in disguise. They have a healthy dose of humor mixed in with the mystery, plus they are very PG-13, almost G, in content. I refer to them "as clean enough to loan your grandmother or grade school aged son." Two of my favorite characters in this series are the two old-timers who staff the jail, who are very free with advice. Don't expect a shoot 'em up western. Sheriff Rhodes doesn't wear boots, ride a horse, or act the tough guy. He drinks Dr Pepper, is rationed junk food by his wife, has a female deputy, and is typical small town Texas.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comic Portrait of the Real East Texas Aug. 14 2000
By Benjamin Potter - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Crider knows East Texas--especially small towns. From the outset of this story the reader can delight at this caricature of small towns all over the USA. When the high school football playoffs are at stake in Blacklin County, murder is called in the huddle. Of course the huddle takes place at the local greasy spoon over cups of bad coffee. Not only does Crider win us with his characteristic down-home wit, but he manages to give us a laughable picture of the way smalltime sports have taken over the hearts and minds of small towns everywhere. WINNING CAN BE MURDER is one of the most readable Sheriff Dan Rhodes mysteries yet. If you like good clean murder, read Crider. He provides a winner every time.

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