CBR13 Book Bingo Challenge: NEW SERIES
So last week I joined some college friends at a rented cabin near Richland Center, Wisconsin, for a couple of days (which is about 75 minutes NW of Madison for those of you playing at home). We went into Spring Green one day and stopped at Arcadia Books for coffee and some browsing. I saw a display for the upcoming release of John Galligan’s mystery novel, Bad Moon Rising, that included a stack of his earlier books and thought, “Hmmm. I could use a new series.” So, I picked up a copy of Bad Axe County. Five days later, I am all in and ready to track down Book 2.
Though Galligan wrote a series of fly-fishing-themed mysteries, this is the debut of a new series featuring Sheriff Heidi Kick. Actually, as the novel opens, Heidi is interim Sheriff, taking the place of recently deceased Sheriff Ray Gibbs, who turns out to have been both incompetent and corrupt. She has been in this unique position, the only female sheriff in Wisconsin, for 53 days and is still trying to decide whether to put her hat in the ring and run for the office. Currently half the county wants her to run, and the other half is busy coming up with disgusting social media posts about her former status as Wisconsin’s 2004 Miss Dairy Queen (it’s now 2016).
Heidi has no illusions about the male dominated world she is stomping around in, especially as she has to navigate working with (and being the boss of) Chief Deputy Elvin “Boog” Lund, who as a 30-year veteran of the force, seems to have had his hands in all the same pies as his former boss. However, Sheriff Kick’s recent arrest and take down of a double-murder suspect has awakened some unwanted memories of her parents’ death twelve years before. She is suddenly unsure of her ability to be professional in her role as interim sheriff, let alone fulfill that role permanently. Meanwhile, a recipe for disaster is heading her way—a spring storm that threatens to both freeze and flood the area—while a number of events, both legal and illegal are happening. An underage woman may be in danger, a missing woman’s body will be found, and a longtime sex trafficking ring will be revealed. This is rural Wisconsin at its grittiest and most meth-filled but also its most compelling.
This book had me at two scenes in the opening chapters. The first describes Sheriff Kick feeding the family geese and using them to try out the worst sexist jokes she can think of—to prepare herself for the day:
Sixteen pairs of black beady eyes looked up, less shoving and nipping, orderly for geese.
“Okay . . .let’s see . . . so why is going to Subway for a sandwich like seeing a prostitute?”
She rattled the pitcher of of corn. They were all ears.
“You pay a stranger to do your wife’s job.”
This raised a mostly goosey murmur. Queen Gertrude nipped Cordelia. Squash Blossom tried to flap an end run behind the sheriff to the corn. She raised the pitcher higher. “Not good enough? Remember you’re just practice cows, so don’t get cocky. Do any of you smart asses know why you should never lie to a woman who has both PMS and GPS?”
They waited for it.
“Because that woman is a bitch . . . and she will find you.”
The second is the description of Lund:
He finally joined the meeting, lumbering away from the pot at the back of the room, managing three, not four, foam cups of bad coffee. He smiled as he passed her, retracting his lower lip to show ground-down incisors, a look she knew well, having grown up around aging male livestock with treacherous intent. Her dad’s last stud bull, Samson, came to mind.
Sheriff Heidi Kick has demons to fight, kids to raise, and maybe a police department to run. However, after my first outing with her and an interesting cast of supporting characters (I love Denise, the night-shift dispatcher!!!), I’m eager to see where things go.
Thanks to Arcadia Books for introducing me to a new series!