Eighty-year-old Miss Edna was a snoopy old bat who constantly pestered Sheriff Ben Carter with her scandalous town gossip and conspiracy theories. She had cried wolf so many times, the sheriff no longer paid any attention to what she said.
This time, however, Miss Edna really saw a wolf—a wolf man to be exact. “I was just sitting on my porch Halloween night minding my own business,” she said, “when this man in what I thought was a wolf costume came running out of the woods.”
Edna lived in a small Mississippi town just south of Memphis. Like similar townlets, Mercy was full of eccentric outliers and castaways. To her knowledge there wasn’t a single werewolf among them.
But regardless, there he was in the middle of the woods—a werewolf shot through the heart with a silver bullet. Investigating the crime scene, Sheriff Carter and his cousin Lily Gayle Lambert couldn’t believe their eyes. Where had the wolf man come from, they wondered? Had the monster escaped from an asylum? A zoo? A circus??
Carter and his cousin didn’t have any RL experience with werewolves, but the corpse certainly looked like the real deal. Although, to be honest, they both noticed that the face didn’t have the elongated snout of a wolf or any razor-sharp teeth. The guy looked more like Lon Chaney Jr. in those old black-and-white Wolf Man movies.
Naturally, the sheriff wanted to keep the murder on the down low. His cousin, on the other hand, couldn’t stop chattering about it. “I would follow the devil into hell to solve this case,” the middle-aged Nancy Drew wannabe confessed. “The imp of perversity always sits on my shoulder.” I wouldn’t call Lily Gayle nosy; she just needed to know things.
And sure enough, while Sheriff Carter was running around in endless circles, Lambert began working her gossip network. She picked up a few tantalizing clues from her lady friends, but she was only able to solve the case when an unexpected deus ex machina popped up in her email inbox.
Deus ex machina or not, sharp readers will be able to figure out the mystery of Death of a Wolfman by the end of the first page. You may want to stick around until the end, however. The third act plays out like a cheap paperback gothic romance from the 60s. In other words, it’s silly and predictable in the best possible way.
[Death of a Wolfman / By Susan Boles / First Printing: August 2016 / ISBN: 9780997909302]