Book: The Sheriff and the Folsom Man Murders (The Sheriff Charles Matthews Mysteries) by D.R. Meredithcategories: Book, Folsom Man Site, Southwestern Archaeology, Humorous Mystery, Sheriff Charles Matthews, Prehistoric Weapons, Capulin Mountain Monument, New Mexico Mystery, Texas County Sheriffs, Texas Mystery
D.R. Meredithabout this book: In the northeast corner of New Mexico, near the town of Clayton, stands Capulin Mountain National Monument, an extinct volcano that rises some one thousand, five hundred feet above the surrounding plain. It is a place that I have visited many times, and many times I have wondered what if a body were discovered inside the crater? It is a question I finally answered in THE SHERIFF AND THE FOLSOM MAN MURDERS.
The story begins on a peaceful Sunday afternoon in the Crawford County, Texas, Sheriff's office, where Sheriff Charles Matthews is relaxing with his feet propped on his desk. His peace is disrupted first by Angie Lassiter, the widow of the sheriff's former best friend, L. D. Lassiter. Angie accuses Charles of keeping secrets about her husband's death. She is right; he is keeping secrets, and intends to continue doing so. After Angie's departure in tears, Charles's youngest and most inept employee tells him that Raul Trujillo, his trusted deputy, has been arrested for murder up in Clayton, New Mexico. Charles doesn't believe that Raul would ever commit murder for any reason, much less kill a family member. Determined to investigate incognito, Charles takes off his badge despite his Chief Deputy, Meenie Higgins, warning him not to stir up trouble. "...you ain't got no business messin' around in New Mexico, especially in old Kit Lindman's stompin' ground. If he catches you, Raul'll have a cell mate."
Charles disregards Meenie's warning and heads for New Mexico where he butts heads with legendary Sheriff Kit Lindman, who is able to curse in three languages without repeating himself. Although sworn in as a temporary deputy by Sheriff Lindman, Charles's problems are not over. An FBI agent with severe allergies, Ed Polanski is nominally in charge of the murder investigation because it occurred on federal land, and attempts to prevent Charles from investigating Raul's case. Charles pays no attention to the FBI agent and questions a myriad of odd residents of the area, including the mysterious leader of a local cult who worship Capulin. The owner of the old hotel, headquarters for the dig led by Raul's cousin and his alleged victim, is an avid collector of prehistoric memorabilia of the area and disliked the victim. In fact, Charles learns that nobody liked Raul's cousin, and no one is sorry he's dead. But if Raul is innocent, who is guilty? Does the murder weapon, a prehistoric atl-atl, a throwing spear, point to the killer? Who is proficient with the weapon, and did he--or she--have a motive to murder the obnoxious professor of archaeology?
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