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The local community college and an antique dealer team up to have a workshop for artists. One local man, Burt Collins, isn't fond of the art, and he isn't fond of having the artists in town. Sheriff Dan Rhodes is called to the antique store because Collins has been accused of vandalizing some paintings. When Rhodes arrives, two men are restraining Collins. But before Rhodes can take Collins into custody, a near riot breaks out. Rhodes gets the situation under control with the help of college math instructor and wannabe cop Seepy Benton.
Later that day Rhodes has to help the county animal control officer round up some runaway donkeys, and that evening there's a robbery at a local convenience store. After looking into the robbery, Rhodes goes by to see Collins and talk to him about the vandalism. Collins isn't talking because he's been killed, his head bashed in with a bust of Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
Rhodes is faced with other problems, too: a naked woman in a roadside park and a gang of meth-cookers. It seems as if a Sheriff's work is never done.
"Half in Love with Artful Death" is the 21st book in this entertaining and original series. It's the perfect time for mystery fans to discover this Texan star of the genre, Bill Crider.