Cover image for Do unto others
Do unto others
Abbott, Jeff.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Ballantine Books, [1994]

Physical Description:
248 pages ; 18 cm
General Note:
"A Jordan Poteet mystery"--Cover.
Geographic Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Adult Mass Market Paperback Popular Materials-Mystery

On Order



Jordan Poteet has left the big city to work as a librarian in his hometown of Mirabeau, Texas. But his dream of the quiet life is shattered when he locks horns with Miss Beta Harcher, the town's prize religious fanatic, in a battle over censorship. When Jordan finds her murdered body in the library, he becomes the prime suspect. And when the police find a cryptic list stashed next to her fanatical heart, it seems as if Beta Harcher has the whole town in a death grip . . .

Author Notes

Jeff Abbott (born 1963) is a U.S. suspense novelist. He has a degree in History and English from Rice University. He lives in Austin, Texas. His early novels were traditional detective fiction but in recent years he has turned to writing thriller fiction. His novels include: Do Unto Others (1994) -- winner of the Agatha Award and the Macavity Award (given by Mystery Readers International) for Best First Novel; Black Jack Point (2002), nominated for the Edgar Award (given by Mystery Writers of America) and for the Anthony Award and for the Barry Award; Cut and Run (2003), nominated for the Edgar Award; Panic (2005), nominated for the Thriller Award (given by the International Thriller Writers); and Trust Me (2009). His novel, Panic, has been optioned for film by The Weinstein Company and is in development. His novel, Collision, has been optioned for film by Twentieth Century Fox.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

When his mama gets Alzheimer's and needs a caregiver, Jordan Poteet leaves his job in Boston to go home to Mirabeau, Texas. Luckily, the job as head of the Mirabeau library opens up, so even though Jordy doesn't have an MLS (gasp!), he's hired. Local harpy Beta Harcher immediately jumps on Jordy's case about the library's owning smut by authors like Twain, Lawrence, and Hawthorne. Unfortunately, the day after she and Jordy have a big argument, the woman is found bludgeoned to death, and Jordy ends up tops on Sheriff "Junebug" Moncrief's suspect list. Jordy knows he didn't kill Beta, and he doesn't want to end up in the pokey, so he decides to find the murderer. Abbott's writing is folksy and full of cornpone humor, and the plot is one of those every-small-town-has-secrets types, but there are some nice comic touches, Jordy is a likable fellow, the action is flashy, and the ending is heartwarming. And it's always nice to encounter a librarian-sleuth, even one sadly lacking in professional credentials. ~--Emily ~Melton

Publisher's Weekly Review

Abbott's debut mystery is a bright, often funny portrayal of the social mechanics of a small town, where, as the narrator/accused/detective quickly discovers, everyone has something to hide. Jordan Poteet has left a thriving publishing career back East to return to his home town in Mirabeau, Texas-a town as backward and insulated as any cliché-to care for his ailing mother and work as the local librarian. Quickly, Jordan is accused of the gruesome murder of a nasty, churchgoing town elder who is at odds with the library's ``liberal'' policies. With a redneck assistant D.A. on his heels, Jordan tries to prove his innocence. Abbott is highly skilled and at ease with the twang and tone of Texas folk and often seems in control of his story. The problem is Abbott has stuffed his relatively short book full-too full. He covers almost every hot topic from censorship to religious fanaticism to Alzheimer's to blackmail. The cast of characters is so vast that Abbott is forced to rehash his hero's suspect list more than once, and though the sweetly handled and satisfying romantic subplot stands out, more often readers will find themselves lost in a sea of personalities. While often engaging, Abbott simply weaves too large a web for a small-town tale. It's a little hard to imagine how this once-in-a-lifetime will translate into the series promised by the cover. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Jeff Abbott's Do Unto Others (Ballantine. 1994. ISBN 0-345-38948-4. pap. $6.50) introduces small-town head librarian (though non-MLS) Jordan Poteet, who leaves a Boston publishing job for his Texas home town to care for his ailing mother. Jordan's run-in with local gadfly and ex-library board member Beta Harcher over removing "smut" from the shelves takes an ugly turn when Harcher is found beaten to death in the library. The weapon, a baseball bat, bears Jordan's fingerprints. Fortunately for Jordan, the victim left a list of other potential suspects complete with topical Bible verses. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.