Reverend Dan Thompson, on his way back from a career endingaffair, has been pastor of the Methodist Church in the sleepy little coalmining town of Baird, Kentucky, for only eight months when he gets the mostunusual request of his entire ministry.MoreReverend Dan Thompson, on his way back from a career endingaffair, has been pastor of the Methodist Church in the sleepy little coalmining town of Baird, Kentucky, for only eight months when he gets the mostunusual request of his entire ministry. Calvin Haines wants him to officiateover a funeral for his dog.
Normally, Dan would throw anyone making such arequest out of his office, only this church has no office. Besides, Calvinsa sweet old man and his dog was not just any dog.Erasmus Wishbone Haines was the most famous, prize winning-est, rabbithunting-est beagle in the entire state of Kentucky, and he was thehandsomest to boot. And he didnt just die, he was murdered--kicked andbeaten to death.
As Calvin says, Whoever done this, hates with cruelhatred.When Dan and Constable Ray Hall arrive at the Haines farm for the funeralthey discover that Calvin has been murdered too, hanged from a rafter in hisbarn, and the scene arranged to look like a suicide. Now its up to them todiscover what hatreds and secrets are running silently below the surface ofbeautiful, picturesque Cut-Through Valley.Their search will lead them to the dark corners of Durel County, where hillpeople raise dogs to fight for the amusement of their owners, and abackwoods Mountain Mafia controls all criminal activity and the money thatcan be made from it.
It will take them to the second largest junk yard inKentucky, an eerie maze of smashed and mangled vehicles. A crazy man wholives there and is rumored to live off the rats he catches with his barehands. And it will bring them face to face with three mysteriousmen--newcomers to Baird--who inflict pain because they like to and can do itwithout leaving a mark.And, finally, their search will lead them back to Cut-Through Valley and thedaughters of Calvin Haines: beautiful, vivacious Blessing, who hates themountains and the coal mines that took her husband from her in a freakaccident- and stunning, aloof Treasure, who left Appalachia and fled to thecity as soon as she was old enough to buy a bus ticket only to find aharsher, more severe wilderness amid the brick and asphalt.Who killed Calvin and Erasmus Wishbone Haines?
And why does the killer hatewith such cruel hatred?Find the who, as Ray says. And the who will tell you why, if you cansurvive long enough to hear it.About The Author:Dean Feldmeyer is the author of the popular Dan Thompsonmysteries. Viper Quarry was the first, set in the sleepy Kentucky town ofBaird, and was nominated for an Edgar Award as Best Paperback in 1995.Dan Thompson is a Methodist clergyman with a past. On probation with thechurch for an indiscreet love affair with a parishioner, he is assigned atiny charge set squarely in the Kentucky coal fields.
The local constable,Ray Hall, enlists the reluctant Rev. Thompson as co-investigator when murderoccurs in the hills. As Ray puts it, while Appalachian hill folk dontcotton to the law, they rarely take potshots at pastors.Dean says, In the Dan Thompson mysteries I have attempted to blend the darkedge of the hard-boiled detective novel with the humor of the clericalmystery, and put them together in an area that I have loved for nearly 40years.Dean Feldmeyer is actually a real-life Methodist minister living in Ohio,but with strong ties to the South.
Since his youth he was involved in homerepair and other service projects in the Appalachian regions of Kentucky,Tennessee, and West Virginia. His grandmother served as a dormitory parentat an orphanage in the hills of Eastern Kentucky.Before the ministry claimed him, Dean was a professional actor, high schoolteacher, cook, and dock worker. As a minister he has served as a hospitaland police chaplain, and a lecturer on theology, family dynamics, andparenting teenagers at the Methodist Theological School of Ohio, the BankOne College, the Ohio Valley Course of Study School, and the United StatesArmy War College.
In addition to writing mysteries, he has either written orcontributed to a half dozen books on parenting or youth ministries, and haswritten articles for a number of magazines. He also wrote a play, Homefront,set in a small Indiana town during World War II (Eldridge Publishing).Dean lives with his wife of 28 years, Jean. His son and daughter are incollege. In his spare time he enjoys wood carving and directing the dramadepartment of the local high school.
He will continue his Dan Thompsonmysteries with Cut-Through Valley, which will be released by Silver Daggerin July 2000.