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There's a big stink in Blacklin County, and everyone seems to think Sheriff Dan Rhodes should do something about it. The smell is coming from the giant chicken farm owned by Lester Hamilton. Rhodes sees this as a matter for the state's air-quality enforcement agency, not the county sheriff. That all changes, however, when Hamilton is found dead, floating in an old rock pit not far from the town of Clearview. Hamilton had probably been engaged in the act of noodling for catfish, which is not only highly dangerous but illegal in Texas.

Rhodes suspects that Hamilton didn't die by accident, though. There are plenty of suspects, including an eccentric community college professor and one of his colleagues, who lives near the chicken farm and has to wear a respirator mask to ward off the smell. Also, someone known in the county as Robin Hood is going around shooting arrows into utility poles as a protest. When semi-nude protestors arrive at the chicken farm, things really begin to get out of hand.

Filled with fun, mayhem, and memorable characters, Murder in the Air is a wonderful addition to this very excellent series. Award-winning author Bill Crider shows again that he is one of the most talented and entertaining mystery writers around.

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