Title: The Blight Way
Author: Patrick F. McManus
ISBN: 978-0-7432-8048-8, Simon & Schuster, 2007
Genre: Police Procedural, #1 Bo Tully mystery
First Line: After happily noting that the mud puddles of the parking lot had frozen over during the night, Blight County Sheriff Bo Tully momentarily regretted having established the departmental policy that neither he nor any of his deputies could use obscenities while on duty.
Bo Tully is Sheriff of Blight County, Idaho. The Atkins Diet has slimmed him down and revved up his libido-- very few of the ladies escape his discerning eye. Bo had wanted to ask his grade-school sweetheart out on a date, but he'd already promised to celebrate his father's 75th birthday. Trouble is, Bo's not quite sure what kind of celebration he wants to have for his cranky old dad. A phone call from the local clan of ex-cons provides the solution: "We got a dead body draped over one of our pasture fences."
Now in most circumstances, taking your dear old dad out to view a dead body draped over a barbed wire fence for his birthday would be a bit strange, but Tullys have been sheriffs of Blight County for over a century, so this is right down the old man's alley. When two more corpses turn up, Bo and "Pap" have a genuine mystery on their hands.
It doesn't take long to figure out that Sheriff Bo Tully isn't the hayseed that he appears to be on the surface. He's smart, sneaky and relentless-- and not overly concerned about details like search warrants or suspect rights. This book is filled with the sort of quirky characters I love, a Gordian knot of motives, and plenty of humor:
"You make this firestarter yourself?" he asked the old man.
"Yeah. You want the recipe?"
"Maybe, but I'll wait until after my mustache and eyebrows grow back."
If you're not sold on Sheriff Tully yet, here are two more Bo Facts:
- He has a spider named Wallace who lives behind his office filing cabinet.
- He thinks library cards are an excellent form of identification.
[Source: Paperback Swap.]