Underneath Every Stone
It’s election time in Blackwater Bay but there’s a dead man in Cotter’s Cut who won’t be casting his vote this year. Sheriff Matt Gabriel is faced with a murder without apparent motive and circumstantial evidence leads him to arrest Frog Bartlett. Frog Bartlett is the ugliest man in Blackwater County, and he has the nastiest temper. But at least one person believes he is innocent – and has enough money to anonymously finance a strong defence.
The election hots up, tempers become frayed, a small riot occurs – and then somebody else is killed. Suddenly Matt Gabriel himself is a suspect. Forced to withdraw from the investigation, he turns it over to his Chief Deputy George Putnam. Now the townsfolk are really worried. While George turns himself inside out trying to be a proper Sheriff, certain people decide to lend both George and Matt a hand – adding further confusion to the situation.
Once again, Paula Gosling brings her talent for zany characters and complex, suspenseful plots to the world of Blackwater Bay. The result is a delightful story of thrills and spills and assorted cookies.
Super, swift-sure characterisation, pace, high local colour: Paula Gosling has all the gifts
As if Garrison Keillor was meeting Miss Marple for the first time
Ingenious plotting . . . procedural detail to rival Ed McBain and a slam-bang solution