Excerpt from Murder in the Hearse Degree by Tim Cockey, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Murder in the Hearse Degree

by Tim Cockey

Murder in the Hearse Degree
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Feb 2003, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    Jul 2004, 320 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


Two of Pops's crew were playing checkers, kneeling on the grass with a faded checkerboard between them while the third, a fellow we called Tommy Haircut, was leaning against the mausoleum James Dean style, chewing gum and blowing a gargantuan bubble.

"You're back on," I said to Pops. "He's changed his mind."

Pops sent a missile of brown juice into the clover. "Good. I didn't like it."

I knew that already. Pops had told me ten times that he didn't like it and I had patiently told him eleven times that he didn't have to like it, and that it was what the customer was requesting.

"It was a bad idea," Pops said, running his thumb and forefinger along his white walrus mustache.

"It was a fine idea," I said. "The man just decided against it."

Pops smirked then turned to his crew. "We're on. Look alive."

Tommy Haircut popped his bubble and shoulder-shoved himself off the mausoleum wall. His blond pompadour wobbled on his head. The checker players folded their board. One of the two let out a sigh of relief.

I went back over to the canopy where the dozen folding chairs were set and gave a nod to the widower to let him know that everything was fine. He gave a grim acknowledgment. His plan had been to climb up into the cemetery's John Deere at the conclusion of the service and begin the process of filling in his wife's grave himself. The thought had come to him the night before, during her wake. He discussed it with his sons, who had all gone along with the idea. Apparently something had changed. I suspected the twelve-year-old.

The service played out and each boy stepped forward to set a rose onto his mother's casket. White casket with silver handles. Very feminine. The twelve-year-old paused after placing his rose and worked something out of his rear pants pocket. It was a scrunched-up Orioles cap. He glanced at his father - who nodded - set the cap on top of the casket then stepped back over to his brothers, accepting a grim low-five from each of them. The widower gathered them in like a mother hen - or father hen- and that pretty much concluded the affair.

I gave a nod to Tony Marino. Tony had been standing in his full Scottish regalia some thirty feet off, as stock-still as a stature. Despite the unique air conditioning afforded by his kilt, Tony was seating like a frozen beer mug under his furry headpiece. The widower had made a particular request and Tony - God love him - had stayed up half the night working out a passable arrangement on the bagpipes. Tony carries the gold medal for lovelorn; there's not a thing he wouldn't do in the service of a severed romance.

Tony puffed up his chest. He checked the position of his fingers, then commenced to squeeze and wheeze.

"If."

That's a song. It was recorded years ago by a group calling itself Bread. It had nothing to do with the Kipling poem. It's what the backhoe operator wanted. On bagpipes it was bloody god-awful. Sounded like a herd of little lambies being slaughtered. Tony worked it bravely, his face going as red as blood-filled tomato.

The backhoe operator collapsed into tears.

Ray Ghost had drifted over to Pops's crew and was jawing quietly with Tommy Haircut, whose insane pompadour was wobbling on his head like Jell-O in an earthquake. I signaled to Ray and he shuffled over.

"Okay. So what's this about Libby?"

  • 1
  • 2

From Murder In The Hearse Degree by Tim Cockey. Copyright 2003 by Tim Cockey. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher, Hyperion Publishing.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Book That Matters Most
    The Book That Matters Most
    by Ann Hood
    BookBrowse First Impression reviewers appreciated the innovative structure of The Book That Matters ...
  • Book Jacket: The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko
    The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko
    by Scott Stambach
    BookBrowse First Impression reviewers were uniformly impressed by this difficult yet heartwarming ...
  • Book Jacket: Boy Erased
    Boy Erased
    by Garrard Conley
    Growing up in rural Arkansas, Garrard Conley did not quite fit the mold of his strait-laced, ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Underground Airlines
    by Ben Winters

    "The Invisible Man meets Blade Runner in this outstanding alternate history thriller." - PW Star

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Book That Matters Most
    by Ann Hood

    An enthralling novel about love, loss, secrets and friendship.

    Read Member Reviews

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
This Must Be the Place
by Maggie O'Farrell

An irresistible love story for fans of Beautiful Ruins and Where'd You Go, Bernadette?

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Lady Cop Makes Trouble

The Kopp Sisters Return!

One of the nation's first female deputy sheriffs returns in another gripping adventure based on fact.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

Manners M (T) M

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!



Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.