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Tuesday, November 01, 2011

A Dead Man's Tale by James D. Doss

A Dead Man's Tale is one of the strangest mysteries I've read.  It is part of a series that I'd never heard of, but will investigate again.

Charlie Moon (all seven feet of him) is a Ute rancher whose household includes his eccentric Aunt Daisy Perika (also a Ute Indian, shaman, and possibly, a witch).  On a normal, run-of-the-mill day, "...Daisy would commit a fresh outrage sufficient to shock a deranged Nazi storm trooper."  An outrageous old woman, Daisy insinuates her way into quite a few things she shouldn't.  She also has an occasional visit from a raucous crow who might be the deceased Debra Darkwing, an old friend.

The plot centers on millionaire Samuel Reed's remembering of a future (?) that entails his own murder.  This unusual ability may have a lot to do with his success on Wall Street.  Samuel gives Charlie Moon and Moon's best friend Police Chief Scott Parrish the date and time of his murder and makes a wager that the two can't keep him alive.  It is a bet that Samuel Reed wants to lose.

It takes a little while to adjust to the manner in which the tale is told.  Doss sometimes goes over the top, but overall, I really enjoyed the bizarre and unorthodox story, the quirky characters, and the wisecracking.

Recently, I read Nymeth's post On Ambivalence (something I often feel about a book), and this novel fits that description.  Doss may go a bit too far at times, but there was plenty that kept me involved and amused, and Aunt Daisy is worth disregarding any flaws.

Other Opinions:  The Cataloger's Reading List,  Murder by Type, My Favorite Mystery  

Fiction.  Mystery.   2010.  296 pages.


  1. This one does sound unique! Its snowing,... good time to start a new mystery.

    p,s. nominated your blog for a 'liebster' award... just posted about it.

  2. I agree, a snowy day is perfect for beginning a new mystery!

    Thanks for the nomination!