Title: Another Man’s Ground
Author: Claire Booth
Genre/Audience: Mystery, adult
Publication: Minotaur, 2017
Source: For review, TLC Book Tours
The next taut, witty mystery featuring Branson, MO’s new sheriff Hank Worth from acclaimed author Claire Booth.
Called out to investigate the theft of elm tree bark (who knew it made a valuable herbal supplement?), Branson, MO Sheriff Hank Worth meets the talkative and combustible property owner, Vern Miles, who is trying to make enough money off the land he just inherited to pay the taxes on it.
The thieves have stripped so much of the bark that the trees are now dying, so Miles decides to go ahead and cut the whole grove down. The only thing is, he uses undocumented workers to do it, and when Hank and Sam stop by the clearing in the woods to check on things, the whole crew takes off like a flock of birds. One unfortunate runaway laborer tumbles into a deep crevice and lands on not one, but two bodies—a month-old rotten corpse and a decades-old child skeleton.
Hank suddenly finds himself in the midst of two separate murder investigations, not to mention tree bark theft, all while running for re-election as county sheriff.
This is the second in a series about Branson, MO’s county sheriff, Hank Worth. There were references to characters and scenarios from the first book, but I was able to get into the story fairly easily without having read the first one (which I plan to do soon). Hank is a likeable protagonist, just trying to do a good job with his work and his family. He is surrounded by a loving wife, adorable kids, and supportive co-workers. Unfortunately, there are characters who are working against him, as there are in any good mystery.
I enjoyed this book, liked the characters (except for the ones you are supposed to hate), and was interested to see how this case would be solved. I definitely plan on reading the first one and any subsequent books that come out, too. The only drawback for me was the cover. I would probably not have given this book a try based solely on the cover. To me, it looks less contemporary and more Western or action/adventure, and I don’t read those genres. It’s true what they say, “You can’t judge a book by it’s cover,” because although the cover didn’t draw me in, the interesting story and engaging mystery DID draw me in!
Recommended for mystery fans.
Guest review by mom, Kim.