Sunset and Sawdust (Knopf) is another step toward the literary mainstream for East Texas iconoclast Joe R. Lansdale , but this offbeat Depression-era mystery still delivers the unexpected and bizarre that his fans have come to expect. Sunset Jones was just the constable’s wife until the day he beat her one too many times and she delivered his fatal comeuppance. Now Constable Sunset and a parade of colorful characters are solving mysteries in tiny Camp Rapture, Texas. The narrative is entertaining, but Lansdale’s patently unvarnished storytelling—backwoods and brash all at once—is the real reason to crack this cover.

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