The Night of the Dance (Jeremiah Spur Mystery, Book 1)
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Sissy Fletcher, the preacher's daughter, disappeared on the night of the Rodeo Dance ten years ago and has been missing ever since. Until now, that is—a team drilling an oil well has made a grisly discovery in an isolated pasture. Seeing as how it's an election year, finding her killer is a bigger priority than it might usually be in sleepy Washington County, Texas, where not much ever happens anyway.
Though it's becoming clear that the town isn't quite as sleepy as it seems. Martin Fletcher, Sissy's brother, seems to believe he's on a mission from God to raise hell in Washington County. He and his partner, Dud Hughes, aim to start small, with armed robbery, and work their way up to bigger things, but an inquiry into his sister's death threatens to draw a little more attention his way than he wants just now.
As the mood begins to the shift in the town, three men put their heads together to work the case: ex-Texas Ranger Jeremiah Spur, who is retired but can't get the thrill of the chase out of his blood; the current sheriff, Dewey Sharpe, who just may not be as dumb as he looks; and Deputy Clyde Thomas, an African-American ex-Dallas cop who is probably the savviest of the bunch. All in all, James Hime's The Night of the Dance, is a terrifically original, jaunty, and action-packed debut from a writer to watch.
see the outlines of a man emerging from the smoke, walking toward him down the sendero, a lone figure, the photographic negative of a man, a black man emerging from a white background. Dud knows that as a marksman he can’t hold a candle to Martin Fletcher. That’s why he had hogtied the black man’s chick to a tree within a hundred yards of the deer stand. To get to her, the deputy has to get that close to where Dud sits now, sighting down the rifle barrel. At a hundred yards, that’s an easy
have been raped, then murdered after getting herself dressed back up? Or was she raped, then bludgeoned, then dressed back up by her killer? That doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense to Jeremiah, doesn’t match up with his experience. Women that are raped and then murdered are almost always found undressed, certainly not with britches on them. Maybe there was no sexual assault. Maybe it had been consensual sex. Or maybe she had consensual sex with one person, and was murdered by someone else
wasn’t Sissy’s way, though. She was an open book on every topic, how she felt, what she thought. At least she was once she came back from college. And a lot of the time she seemed to go out of her way not to abide by the rules.” “There’s long been a ‘preacher’s daughter’ stereotype. Was that it?” “Maybe. But she was also real, real smart, not just looking to have a good time, and not afraid to show how smart she was, even around the gentlemen, if I can use that word, of Brenham, Texas. That
sky. Amanda sits on the other side of the bed, spoons ice chips, smiles through the profusion of face jewelry that makes her look like a member of some strange tribe of white Africans. Jeremiah wonders if Elizabeth’s story about her ride in Sissy Fletcher’s pickup was known to Martha, whether Elizabeth had ever told her mother about the night of the dance. Jeremiah speculates that might explain a lot if she did. It might explain how a distance had grown between them. The way Elizabeth left home
the dirt road that goes through the little woods that shields Martin’s place from the road traffic. Martin’s so happy he could just about cry. The Lord God Jehovah has come to his aid one more time. God has delivered Himself of another revelation, beamed straight down from heaven into the Messenger’s brain. He grins, turns to Dud, says, “We stirred ’em up pretty good, huh, partner?” Dud’s return grin has got some nervousness to it. “I was worried for a while we wasn’t gonna be able to shake