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Hoodoo Harry by Joe R. Lansdale

First published in 2016; published digitally by MysteriousPress.com/Open Road on August 1, 2017

Hoodoo Harry is Joe R. Lansdale’s contribution to the Bibliomysteries series of stand-alone mystery stories by popular crime writers in which books, bookstores, libraries, or manuscripts play a central role.

Hap and Leonard are run off the road by a bookmobile bus in a part of the country that is still fighting the Civil War. The bookmobile disappeared fifteen years earlier, along with its driver, Harriet Hoodalay, who was known after her disappearance as Hoodoo Harry.

A 12-year-old kid whose unfortunate life is cut short was driving the bus. Of course, Hap and Leonard make it their business to find out why. They engage in their usual wisecracks and make their customary observations about how “neighborliness” in East Texas now consists of shooting anyone who comes too close to a home or business after dark … or maybe even in daylight.

The story blossoms into a murder investigation with multiple victims. Like most of the Hap and Leonard series, this isn’t as powerful as Lansdale’s best work. Hoodoo Harry is an average Hap and Leonard story, which means it entertains. That’s all it’s meant to do, and since it succeeds, I recommend it.


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