Cover image for Death down home
Death down home
Sandstrom, Eve K.
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New York : Scribner ; Don Mills, Ont., Canada : Collier Macmillan Canada ; New York : Maxwell Macmillan International, [1990]

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Reviews 3

Booklist Review

In rural Oklahoma, old Sam Titus is critically injured while changing a tire when the truck rolls on him. Young Sam Titus, a military police detective, and his newlywed wife, Nicky, are summoned home from Germany. Young Sam doesn't think it was an accident and decides to investigate, despite the strong objections of the incompetent local sheriff. Narrated by Nicky, whose European upbringing has prejudiced her against small-town American life, the book has a unique perspective. There's also some witty dialogue, and the town's population ranges interestingly from unique to profoundly eccentric. This may remind readers of Bill Crider's Dan Rhodes mysteries: humorous and definitely nonthreatening. ~--Wes Lukowsky

Publisher's Weekly Review

Readers must brave their way through some initially flat prose in Sandstrom's mystery debut as they meet a cast of small-town Oklahomans with motives for murder. Once the story swings into gear, however, Sandstrom unravels an intriguing plot with an exciting climax and satisfying resolution. Photographer Nicky Titus accompanies her new husband, military detective Sam, on leave to the small Oklahoma town where he grew up. A Nancy Drew type, Nicky is at first cowed by her new role in the clannish community, especially when she tries to work side by side with Sam to discover the attempted killer of her father-in-law and the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of her brother-in-law. She learns in short order that Sam prefers not to involve her in his investigation; when she presses him for details, he becomes rejecting and silent. In fashioning the plot so that Nicky must try to understand the reasons for her husband's secretive behavior, Sandstrom runs the risk of losing reader interest by making Sam boorish and taciturn. The couple is no Nick and Nora; readers should not expect entertaining banter. But Sam's bad humor dissolves in the face of Nicky's charming tenacity and the newlyweds solve the crime together, while grasping the true depth of their relationship. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Sandstrom introduces a new series with the newlywed sleuthing team of army captain Sam Titus and photographer/wife Nicky. Family tragedy sends them to Holton, Oklahoma, where Sam struggles with the ramifications of his father's debilitating ``accident,'' the disappearance of his brother Bill, and various financial difficulties facing the family ranch. While Sam investigates, Nicky worries about his perpetual cold shoulder, but manages to take some crucial photos that advance the plot. The prairie setting works well enough, but bland prose, trite characters, and tepid suspense hardly make a visit worthwhile. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.