Book: Highwater (The Highwater Mysteries) by D.R. Meredithcategories: Book, Rural Mystery, Texas Panhandle, Highwater, Amateur Sleuths, Texas Ranching, Small Town Texas, Texas Mystery
D.R. Meredithabout this book: Time had moved on and left Highwater, Texas, drowsing in the shade of its own history. Even its responsibilities as county seat of Bonham County did little to disturb the town's slumber. Cowboys still rode over the flat plains, but they no longer rode for the giant SIT brand that once encompassed Bonham and nine other counties in the Texas Panhandle. Instead they rode for smaller ranches carved from the dead carcass of the XIT. Cattle still grazed on the semi-arid land, but in smaller numbers. The trains still ran through Highwater, but they only stopped at the grain elevators at the edge of town, and then only during wheat harvest. The town's fancy hotel burned down in 1929, its bank closed in 1933, and the hitching rails around the courthouse were torn down in 1956. Not much ever happened to rouse the town from its sleep. What little did happen was discussed, dissected, and dismissed by the movers and shakers of Highwater every morning at ten o'clock at Buddy's Cafe.
What was on the minds of the men of Highwater was a woman: Elizabeth Walker. A widow in debt to the IRS after her husband died, leaving her a large ranch and no money to pay estate taxes. She sold most of her cattle, leased most of her land to other ranchers, and is running for the office of Justice of the Peace, because she desperately needed the job. The other elected officials, all men, sympathize with Elizabeth's position, but are uneasy with the idea of a women JP who might have to mess around with dead bodies. In their opinion, looking at dead bodies is no job for a woman. The only public official who knows that Elizabeth can handle anything, dead or alive, that comes along is Sheriff Jim Hayworth, a widower and best friend of her deceased husband. In these four interconnected stories, even Jim is surprised at how far Elizabeth Walker will go to uncover murderers hiding among the peaceful residents of Highwater.
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