A mystery story that also weaves in Appalachian folktales and humor. Hard to get into at first, but develops into a good read.
This is the first book about Fever Devlin, son of the Georgia Appalachians who went off to school and came home and finds himself solving mysteries. Good read.
First in the Fever Develin series. Pretty good.
Dr. Fever Devilin, a folklore specialist, has left his university position to go back home: the Appalachian mountains of Georgia. He doesn't even make it in the door before finding a corpse on the front porch of his cabin - a corpse that looks disturbingly like him. His old friends seem to know a lot more about what's going on than he does which very much disturbs Devilin, who is now feeling like an outsider. But with the help of a sheriff's deputy (one of the old friends) and a university colleague, he uncovers plenty of old secrets including some shockers about himself.
The beginning cracked me up. Here's Devilin and his friend Skidmore, the deputy, standing there staring at the corpse when there's a gunshot and one of the windows shatters. Do they yelp and hit the ground? Do they scramble for cover? No, they make a couple comments in loud voices about the shooter, and wander over behind the squad car. Because, as Devilin explains, the folks around there are good enough shots that if anyone wanted to kill them, they'd be dead already, so no point in getting upset.
Plenty of interesting characters in this story, even if a few of them seem like Deliverance stereotypes. I especially liked the woodworker and Skidmore. Very good sense of place in this novel, you get a good feel for the mountains and the community. I had a harder time getting into Devilin's head but I suspect that is deliberate on the part of the author, he is supposed to be somewhat of a closed book. Looks like there are a few more in this series, but this one stands alone quite nicely.
The Devil's Hearth has many well drawn characters and absolutely beautiful descriptions of the scenery. He makes you want to get to know these people better. The mystery kept me interested. The story was well crafted and intriguing. I'll definitely read more in this series.
I expected more from this book that I got from reading it. I think a lot of this book is setting up the series and characters. I didn't really care about the characters very much. Nothing in it jumped out at me. I liked the setting, makes you want to take a road trip to Georgia.
Loved this first in a series.........if you love a great mystery, mountain living and folklore you will love this book!
Fever Devlin leaves his job to return to his home in the Appalachians. His arrival is greeted with the discovery of a body on the porch of the family cabin--which turns our to be the half brother he never new existed.
"It takes the brutal murder of an old wood-carver to expose the festering secrets of this mountain community where the dead tell no tales---and a killer plots to ensure Fever Devlin joins their eternal silence."
Shamus finalist DePoy (Easy) provides a delightful fireside feast in his sixth whodunit, set in the Georgia Appalachians. Upset with the closing of his folklore section in Burrison University's English department, Dr. "Fever" Devilin decides to spend his next few years writing and coming to grips with the ghosts of his past at the old family cabin up on Blue Mountain. But ghosts seem determined to start and end his journey. Childhood chum Skidmore Needle, now a local deputy, discovers a dead body at the cabin only minutes before Fever's arrival. The corpse turns out to be that of Fever's hitherto unknown half-brother and a messenger from their not-so-dearly departed mother. The cast of characters could've come out of Deliverance, from the dimwit Deveroe brothers to Fever's total city-slicker colleague and friend, Dr. Winton Andrews. A threesome of old men play music, drink 'shine and keep secrets, but Fever is determined to pry some answers from those who may have information about his half-brother's murder. The Devil's Hearth, an eerie outcropping, haunts the mountain and sets the book's tone, and Fever's old flame Lucinda adds some spark. DePoy combines a good mystery with a generous helping of history and legend.
Didn't get very far before I realized I didn't like anything about this story--so back to trading it off!