Between the Living and the Dead by Bill Crider (2015)
It's always a pleasure to spend an evening with old friends and I certainly consider Bill Crider's Sheriff Dan Rhodes a good friend.
In Rhodes' twenty-second full-length outing, Rhodes tangles with a ghost hunter (it had to happen sooner or later): his pain-in-the-butt, almost-friend Seepy Benton has decided to take the summer off from teaching to become a paranormal investigator. And according to local lore in Buckland County, Texas, the most haunted house is the old Moore place where its owner was left dead for days to be eaten by his dog. ( Of course, the fact that the dead owner had no dog, just a bird, does not displace the rumor.)
It may or may not be haunted, but when gunshots are reported from the house, Rhodes discovers the body of a local drug dealer. During the course of the investigation, Rhodes must deal with the victim's not-so-bright criminal relatives, take a bull by the horns (literally), and stumble on a 40-year-old corpse hidden in the old Moore house.
And Buckland County wouldn't be Buckland County is Rhodes did not have to deal with local politics, his wife's idea of healthy meals, feral hogs, Seepy Benton's excesses, and the banter of Hack and Lawton, his dispatcher and his jailer.
As always, Bill Crider is spot-on with his chronicle of life in a small community. The story is told with warmth, humor, and insight, and Dan Rhodes remains a relunctant hero for the ages.
My good friend Dan is highly recommended in this and in all previous adventures.