One hot summer morning, big, tough Bud Turley brings an enormous tooth into the Blacklin County police station and asks Sheriff Dan Rhodes to keep it for him until the paleontologist from the community college comes up to examine it. Turley insists that the tooth is proof that Bigfoot roams the woods---unless it is from a prehistoric animal, which Rhodes thinks is more likely. But Turley's buddy Larry Colley has maintained for years that he's seen Bigfoot. Most inhabitants of Blacklin County have avoided those woods, but Colley and Bud are at home there, and Turley is ready to crow over his find. However, the next day his body is found in the forest, leaving Larry Colley more certain than ever that a monster is lurking there.

Dan Rhodes is not sure that Bud's death is the work of an "ordinary" criminal. And he wouldn't be too surprised if somehow feral hogs were involved; Rhodes knows what many Texans don't---it is estimated that at least a million and a half feral hogs roam the state; many believe it could be twice that many. But when the sheriff is faced with the murder of an elderly woman in the small store she ran at the edge of the woods, he knows he has a human killer on his hands.

A Mammoth Murder is Bill Crider's thirteenth mystery featuring Sheriff Dan Rhodes, his two-man headquarters "staff," and the quirky citizens of Blacklin County. Readers of the series will unanimously welcome another visit to this hospitable, if surprising, Texas community where mixed with the real-life inhabitants you'd find in any small Southwest town, there will always be some really unique goings-on.

Dan Rhodes, the sheriff of Blacklin County, Texas, has seen more than his share of strange events during his time in office-most recently he exorcised a ghost from the county jail and he has always tolerated the banter between his elderly jailer and dispatcher. However, not even Hack and Lawton's friendly word play could have prepared him for the group of writers that have descended upon Blacklin County.

When Vernell Lindsey, Clearview's newly published romance novelist, decides to hold a romance writer's convention, residents think this will finally get their town on the map. They are even more excited when they learn that former Clearview resident Terry Don Coslin will headline the event-Terry Don is now the most sought after male cover model for these very novels.

Rhodes doesn't understand why so many people are interested in writing, but this becomes the least of his concerns when a local aspiring novelist is found dead in her room at the college. Was her death the work of a jealous rival? Or did her new book get a bit too close to certain people's real lives? As he investigates, Rhodes begins to learn more about the publishing industry and some sordid facts Terry Don. Is he at all connected to the murder? When another murder occurs, Rhodes receives the unwelcome aid of two aspiring novelists, eager to switch from romance to mysteries. Their theories are a little too far from the truth, but Rhodes does make some headway on his own.

Relying on his trademark common sense and cunning and the help of his deputy sheriff Ruth Grady, Rhodes is able to solve the murders although he still can't figure out why so many people want to write a novel.

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