Five Star/Gale, Cengage, 2013, 324 pp., $25.95
Harlequin Worldwide Mystery, 2016, 346 pp., $7.99
When a Missouri farmer doesn’t come home to milk the cows, his wife reports him missing. Ex-spy Phoenix Smith and her dog, Achilles, answer the call with Acting Sheriff Annalynn Carr Keyser. Achilles tracks the farmer to a gate, but the women locate his body in front of a duck blind. A broken antler sticks out of his back. His rifle lies near his hand. Phoenix suspects a human framed a deer for murder.
Under the guise of hunting for the deadly deer, Phoenix checks out more likely killers: the victim’s widow, a hostile neighbor, a purported ecoterrosist. The cynical retired covert operative establishes rapport with suspects to question them and gain illegal access to information. Compassion compels her to protect the most vulnerable. Rule-bound Annalynn struggles to protect Phoenix and to pursue her leads. Achilles grapples with his fears to back up the women in the fields and on small-town streets.
As in Show Me the Murder, the old friends fall back on trust, love, and laughter to help them survive crimes and crises.
Amazon: used copies
This book is out of print, but I still have a few copies. To order from me, go to Contact.
“Small-town Missouri again proves almost as dangerous to a former CIA agent as European back alleys. Mulford’s second provides plenty of excitement as readers wend their ways through a slew of suspects.”—Kirkus Reviews
“A mark of a good mystery series is when you can pick up any volume as a starting place and not feel lost. That test is passed by “Show Me the Deadly Deer,” the second entry in Carolyn Mulford’s enjoyable Show Me series, set in rural Missouri.”
“Carolyn Mulford has crafted a satisfying mystery with enough twists to keep the reader turning the pages. She captures the flavor of the rural life, where everyone knows everyone’s business, but where deadly secrets can still remain hidden.”—David Ingram, Suspense Magazine
Phoenix Smith and her friends Annalynn and Connie … are a trio of spunky women with a distinctive relationship dynamic that adds spice to the stories, and … are differentiated by their maturity and complexities. With decades of life experience behind them and healthy independence, none of the women in Mulford’s books could be described as one-dimensional, weak or foolish. They are fully human, with complex personalities and dynamic interactions with the world and one another.
Mulford’s life hasn’t exactly been dull — she has lived and traveled all over the world in her career as a freelance writer — and neither is her writing. “Show Me the Deadly Deer” flows with deceptively simple language and a satisfyingly complex plot.—Amy Wilder, “Covert world, small-town Missouri come together in mystery series,” Columbia (MO) Daily Tribune