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Server Down

A Mad Dog and Englishman Mystery by J. M. Hayes

Server Down by J. M. Hayes

Review: Harvey Edward "Mad Dog" Maddox and his brother Sheriff English return in another amusing outing in Server Down, the fifth mystery in this series by J. M. Hayes.

Mad Dog takes a contrarian view to just about everything. His current target is the Benteen County Board of Supervisors who are leaning towards approving the construction of an ethanol plant in the area that will provide jobs for county residents. But then Mad Dog takes off for Tucson with his wolf Hailey to attend a local Native American ceremony during which a police officer is murdered, stabbed with Mad Dog's Swiss Army knife. Sheriff English sends his daughter Heather, a part-time deputy, to pick up her uncle and return him home. While he's in Arizona, someone blows up Mad Dog's house in Kansas. English must not only figure out who bombed his brother's house but if it's related in any way to what's going on in Tucson. When he finally gets in touch with him, Mad Dog, still on the run, claims a creature from the computer game War of Worldcraft is the culprit and is after him, even framing him for murder. But the threats continue and get even more personal: they now include Heather.

"Madcap" (but in a good way) is the word that comes to mind while reading Server Down. Everything is just slightly over-the-top, from the characters to the settings to the situations everyone finds themselves in. Frequently frenetic with a somewhat convoluted plot (non-gamers, for example, may have a more difficult time apprecriating the nuances of an online, multi-player game and relating it to the plot), it's entertaining nonetheless but not likely to everyone's taste.

Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Server Down.

Acknowledgment: Poisoned Pen Press provided an ARC of Server Down for this review.

Review Copyright © 2009 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved

Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author

Mystery Book Review: Broken Heartland by J. M. HayesBroken Heartland
Poisoned Pen Press (Hardcover), November 2007
ISBN-13: 9781590584521; ISBN-10: 159058452X

Location(s) referenced in Server Down: Kansas, Tucson, Arizona

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Server Down by J. M. Hayes

Server Down by A Mad Dog and Englishman Mystery

Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Format: Hardcover
ISBN-13: 978-1-59058-627-3
Publication Date:
List Price: $24.95

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