Risky Undertaking

Mark de Castrique
Poisoned Pen Press (2014)
ISBN 9781464203084
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (03/15)

“Risky Undertaking” by Mark de Castrique is the sixth book in the Buryin’ Barry series.  Barry finds himself using both of his roles as an undertaker and a deputy to solve a murder mystery. When a Cherokee’s remains and Native American artifacts are found at the site of where some white locals want to expand a cemetery, the drama begins. Jimmy Panther, an activist for the tribe, decides to stage a protest about the expansion on the day of the funeral and burial of a very important local wife. This does not gain him popularity with the town folk. When his murdered body is discovered on top of her grave shortly after the protest, Barry has to step in to help solve this mystery.

The more Barry investigates, the more apparent it becomes that this is a very complicated case. In addition to the murder, there is a missing boy, missing artifacts, drama about building another casino, a visiting hitman and a Boston cop who is trailing him. Politics, preservation of Native American land and artifacts, money, and investors from both sides of the fence further complicate matters. Barry has his hands full and the missing boy appears to be running out of time.

I really enjoyed “Risky Undertaking” by Mark de Castrique.  It is the first book that I have read in this series, and I found that it stands well on its own. I never felt lost while reading, however, I did find myself wanting to get my hands on the other books in the series because I enjoyed this one so much. The characters are eccentric and highly entertaining, even if some of them weren’t very likeable! WhileI appreciated the author’s talent for being able to fully capture my attention with an interesting, fast paced story, I was also impressed that he incorporated actual issues that Cherokee tribe in this area are facing. I highly recommend reading “Risky Undertaking!”

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