Bill Crider and Clyde Wilson
Five Star, May 7 2010, $25.95
In 1970 the Houston based National Insurance Company Claims manager Don Cogsdill is appalled with a dozen worker's compensation cases involving longshoremen on a ship channel in Losgrove, Mississippi. He becomes suspicious when he realizes the same doctor Gillespie signed the claims and the same lawyer Campbell filed them.
Don hires former cop Ted Stevens to investigate whether fraud has occurred. Ted arrives in town and quickly learns the communication center is at the Magnolia Cafe where Mississippi Vivian works. He soon finds out one of the claimants is dead and not long afterward a second filer also is dead. As he investigates the potential insurance fraud, Ted also looks into what he believes are homicides within a town without pity that prefers to keep secrets buried.
This is a terrific investigate historical tale that is filled with action and amusing southern hush puppies wit for instance the three state Vivian’s. Ted makes the story line fun as he is the straight man to a town of eccentrics and a killer. Sub-genre fans will appreciate laconic Ted as he inquires into increasingly what seems like fraud, which leads him to a killer in a superb period piece.