This is a wild and crazy first novel, crowded with weird people, unusual relationships (both animal and human), and frequent humor that will appeal to fans of Carl Hiaasen, Tim Dorsey, and other comic mystery writers.
Buck Fever (Blanco County Mysteries)
by Ben Rehder
4.3 stars - 27 reviews
Currently FREE for Amazon Prime Members
Text-to-Speech and Lending: Enabled
Here's the set-up:
Blanco County, Texas: It's the week before deer hunting season, as close to a statewide holiday as you get in Texas, and the locals are getting restless. Game Warden John Marlin has his hands full with poaching complaints coming in faster than he can write out-of-season tickets. Then a call of a different sort comes in. A man dressed up in some sort of deer costume has been shot at the Circle S ranch, and witnesses are reporting a massive wild-eyed buck prancing about the pasture in a lovesick frenzy. Marlin's seen a lot in his years, but this is wilder than he could have imagined: the man in the deer suit is a good friend, and the whacked-out whitetail isn't exactly a stranger either. It's the beginning of a mad, frantic weekend in Blanco County, one that will see a few more men shot, an invasion by Colombians with more than hunting on their minds, and damn near the end of Marlin's life. Ben Rehder serves it all up with a huge helping of humor in this debut comic mystery that will firmly establish him as the funniest crime writer in Texas.
One Reviewer Notes:
It's not easy to be consistently absurd for an entire book. This debut novel is a complete success, tearing out of Texas chock-full of characters so nutty and events so strange it seems as if they must be real. Game warden John Marlin has been best friends with Phil Colby since grade school. Marlin essentially grew up on the vast spread of the Colby ranch, and he was nearly as crushed as Colby when the ranch was lost. The new owner, Roy Swank, is as greedy and unscrupulous a man as Texas can produce-and everyone knows Texas does things in a big way. Swank can be petty, too: he insisted Colby leave his tame deer, aptly named Buck, pointing out that native whitetails belong to the state. Swank has set up a profitable deer farm, and hunting season is right around the corner. He's got a big opening day planned, complete with rich and famous guests. Marlin, meanwhile, comes across some white powder that spilled from a poached deer-one that belongs to Swank. There's also a wildlife biologist dressed up as a doe, a doe dressed in stiletto heels and a garter belt, as well as some frequently drunk good ol' boys named Red and Billy Don. Rehder gives Marlin a little time to talk about hunting, to explain that it doesn't have to be merely a killing spree. Although his observations seem somewhat forced, it's probably a worthwhile interjection. The writing here is confident and vigorous; the tone is quintessentially Texan and relentlessly wry. There's sure to be a long career for this happy, wacky series.
About the Author
Ben Rehder wanted to become a writer ever since he was dropped on his head as a toddler. As he grew into a young adult and the vertigo gradually dissipated, his passion for literature grew. Ben longed to craft the type of soul-stirring prose that would touch people's lives and help them explore new emotional horizons. But he went to work at an ad agency instead…
Fate played a hand one day when Ben's father-in-law tossed him a copy of a Carl Hiaasen novel. And then it hit him. It literally hit him, right in the forehead. When the swelling went down and Ben had a chance to read the book, he discovered a type of fiction he had never experienced before--the comic crime novel! He loved the wacky characters, the zany plots, the interesting writing that threw a good deal of humor into the mix.
So Ben set out to write his own novel. After many grueling minutes in front of a computer, Ben was proud to present Buck Fever. Like many best-selling classics, Buck Fever has lots and lots of verbs, prepositions, adjectives, and the occasional gerund. It was even nominated for the Edgar Award for Best First Novel!
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