I really enjoyed this mystery, which combines down-home cozy with edgy thrills and gory murder (not to mention, some less-fatal small-town troublemaking, such as snooping, gossip, adultery, police brutality and halitosis, envy, fear of change, and on and on). Mr. Pedneau writes well, and brings a small West Virginia foothills community to life. His ongoing protagonist, prosecutorial investigator Whit Pynchon, is a crusty, curmudgeonly, battle-axe, and a talented detective. 18 months remain until he can retire to South Carolina's Low Coast (at 42). It will be West Virginia's loss when he does.