A Taylor Madison Mystery: Diamondback by Elizabeth Dearl
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A mystery writer, Taylor Madison, travels to a small town in west Texas (she's from mid-Texas) to confront her aunt about the animosity between the two sisters. Sounds fairly commonplace, but the fun starts when she ends up being deputized to help out the annual rattlesnake festival. If you don't know about such things, the book quickly explains what it is and what happens. Why is Taylor deputized? Good question, but it seems to be because the sheriff's office is shy a deputy, and Taylor is a mystery writer. Also, she's known to some extent in the small town from her mother and aunt both growing up there.
Okay, we get to the nitty-gritty when the Sheriff is murdered in his own home using rattlesnake venom. While we big city fellas might find that odd, you just need to accept that in west Texas, it's not that farfetched.
All of the above is to show you that you're not getting a mystery cozy here. The unusual setting, background of the MC, and all those rattlers guarantee this isn't very cozy at all.
I like Taylor and feel her actions to be believable and sensible (sort of). I suspect the next book in the series will give the audience plenty of unusual crimes and perplexing social commentary on small towns.
Since I'm a hereditary West Texan although I lived there only when I was a wee lass, I have read quite a bit and done additional research for my own writing about the area. I even sent the author a link to my own tale about rattlesnake hunting. I hope she enjoyed it (if she read it).
I'll gladly read more of Taylor Madison's mysteries in the additional books in the series.
Recommended, but not if you're really snake-phobic. I'm not, so I enjoyed the details included in the book.
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