Finally I find Houston Antiques ‘N Art, located in a mall that stretches about as big as Dora Lee’s farm. The place… looks like a warehouse, crammed up tight with fine pieces of furniture butted up next to some of the ugliest junk I’ve ever laid eyes on…
[Dallas Morton] is a rangy man who wears clothes that make him look like he’s ready to grab his partner at a square dance. His pale blue shirt hs ruffles down the front and he’s wearing tight black plants and cowboy boots with high heels. It’s all finished off with a bolo tie with a piece of turquoise the size of my fist. He wears a silver and turquoise bracelet and rings to match.
observations: Two weeks ago, looking at the JK Rowling/Robert Galbraith book The Cuckoo’s Calling, I said I wouldn’t have guessed who wrote it, but I might have thought it was a woman’s book. A Killing at Cotton Hill is less famous, in fact virtually unknown, but it gave me a huge surprise: I assumed that Terry was a man right up until her biographical details popped up at the very end of the book – I wouldn’t have suspected for a moment that the writer was female. The narrator, retired law officer Samuel Craddock, is a totally convincing voice.
The book was recommended/passed on to me by the proprietor of the Col’s Criminal Library blog, and his review here is an excellent summing-up of the book – and one I totally agree with. I loved this book: the Texan geography, the small-town atmosphere, the logical steps in solving the crime, the descriptions of the people and places that the investigator came across along the way – all were perfectly done. I’m delighted that it’s the first of a series, though sorry we’ll have to wait for future entries.
The book is available in the UK via amazon and on Kindle. And there is a really nice Pinterest board showing items of interest from the story, including works of modern art, and answering my question as to what bluebonnets, mentioned several times, are: a kind of lupin, the Texan state flower. And if you think having a state flower is strange and American, then there’s news for you: the bolo is the official neckwear of the state of Texas. Yes really – it sounded like an internet myth, but Clothes in Books is not frightened of doing deep, original fashion research, and we found the details on the Texas State website.
The Wikipedia definition is:
A bolo tie (sometimes bola tie or shoestring necktie) is a type of necktie consisting of a piece of cord or braided leather with decorative metal tips – aglets (aiguillettes) – secured with an ornamental clasp or slide.
It would be a bootlace tie in the UK.
With big thanks to Col for the book.
The picture was taken by Markus Barlocher and is available on Wikimedia Commons.