Current Reading: Claire Booth

On April 28, I posted (here) on the first of the three Sheriff Hank Worth novels by Claire Booth. Here are the second and third.

Another Man’s Ground by Claire Booth, Claire Booth, 2017 St. Martin’s Press Minotaur Books, mystery, Sheriff Hank Worth # 2

Sheriff Hank Worth is called out to investigate the theft of elm tree bark, apparently, once processed, a valuable herbal supplement. There he 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.

A Deadly Turn by Claire Booth, 2018 Severn House Publishers, mystery, Sheriff Hank Worth # 3

Hank Worth thinks he’s performed a good deed when he pulls over the car of six teens caught speeding on a Saturday night and lets them off with a warning and instructions to go home. When he responds to an urgent call minutes later, he realizes he made a fatal error of judgement – the car has smashed on a turn, every teen is dead. Struggling to come to terms with his role in the crash, Hank begins to suspect foul play. While notifying the parents of the children involved, his suspicions grow when an unidentified body is discovered in one of their homes and a teenage girl is found after apparently attempting to commit suicide. Hank believes the incidents are connected, but those around him disagree. Is Hank right, or is his guilt making him search for answers where there are none?

My take:
I read the books in this series out of order; first seeing an interview with the author on Jungle Red Writers blog, in which she discussed the latest book, then later seeing a review of it.

I liked it quite a bit so I hunted up the first two at the library. I enjoyed seeing the growth of the main character and the books are well plotted and written. They get better as the series progresses. I’ll be on the lookout for the next whenever it’s published, which is soon, I hope.

The Hank Worth series:

The Branson Beauty – 2016
Another Man’s Ground – 2017
A Deadly Turn – 2018

About Rick Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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11 Responses to Current Reading: Claire Booth

  1. Jeff Meyerson says:

    I will be looking for first one. I’m reading a book recommended to me as being a similar series to Bill Crider’s Sheriff Rhodes. It is Terry Shames, A KILLING AT COTTON HILL. The resemblance part is, small town Texas Sheriff (here, retired Sheriff, widower Samuel Craddock), who has to solve the murder of a friend and neighbor because the new Sheriff is a lazy drunk looking to pin it on the woman’s grandson. It’s a fairly short, quick read.

    Also reading the Block anthology I mentioned last time, though I didn’t bring it on the trip, plus the Robert Silverberg Megapack, a cheap download of two dozen of his earliest, often silly, stories.

    • I enjoyed the three books (all from library) and whipped right through them. Since I’m not a fan of Block, I would have–did–skip that megapack. Not sure I’d want to read a series about a Sheriff who is a “lazy drunk”.

  2. Jeff Meyerson says:

    No. The “lazy drunk” is the current Sheriff. The retired Sheriff is the protagonist and hero. The Megabook was the Silverberg. Block edited the New York collection.

  3. tracybham says:

    I do like the sound of this series. I would like to try one of these someday but will hold off for now until I whittle my TBR pile down a bit. (That is probably close to what I said when you reviewed the first one.)

  4. Jerry House says:

    Darn you, Rick! Now I have another author to add to my wannaread list.

    I finished Robert Goldsborough’s THE BATTERED BADGE, a continuation of Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe books. It was enjoyable, yet minor. Goldsborough seems to be getting closer to Stout’s voice but still pales in comparison. This time, Wolfe had to clear Inspector Cramer’s name.

    I finished two of Ivan Howard’s mid-sixties paperback SF anthologies, ESCAPE FROM EARTH and (published anonymously) MASTERS OF SCIENCE FICTION. As with most of Howard;’s anthologies these two were culled from various Columbia magazines of the 50s and 60s (SCIENCE FICTION QUARTERLY, FUTURE SCIENCE FICTION, SCIENCE FICTION STORIES, DYNAMIC SCIENCE FICTION) edited by “Doc’ Lowndes. I have no idea who Ivan Howard was other than he appears to be have been a real person and not a pseudonym.

    My major reading this week were three more graphic novel’s in Bill Willingham’s FABLES series: FABLES, THE DELUXE EDITION, BOOKS FIVE, TEN, AND ELEVEN. This awesome and complex series never seems to get stale and never fails to hold my interest. Highly recommended.

    After a few days of severe storms, the weather has turned blazingly hot. Windows are open. Fans are on. I’m determined not to turn on the AC, but my will is rapidly weakening.

    Have a great week, Rick.

  5. Very little reading time last week. We were in rainy New York City where we met up with Katie. We saw two plays and two musicals. I wish we could have stayed a couple more days to see the Meyersons (who return from New Orleans today) and got to a couple more plays. But, Katie had to go back to work and Diane’s sister is coming to visit us this week. So much happening, so little time!

  6. prettysinister says:

    These sound very interesting. I like the unusual backgrounds.

    You can still buy slippery elm tree bark in health food stores. It makes an amazing tea. When I was an actor I was introduced to its nearly miraculous properties by an actress friend of mine. When you need your voice back and you have no understudy you will try anything. Healed a sore throat in a single day! Later discovered some people in musical theater who swore by it.

  7. Jeff Meyerson says:

    I downloaded the first one from the library and have started it.

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