Review/Giveaway – Death at the Black Bull by Frank Hayes

death at the black bullDeath at the Black Bull
(A Sheriff Virgil Dalton Mystery)

New Mystery Series
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (October 7, 2014)
Published by The Penguin Group
Trade Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425274293
E-Book File Size: 1724 KB


Hayward is a sleepy Southwestern town full of cattle, trucks, and tumbleweeds. Virgil Dalton’s been the sheriff for over a dozen years and has lived there all his life. It’s a place where everybody pretty much knows everybody—but they don’t know each other’s secrets…

Buddy Hinton is just a good ole boy. So when he disappears after a night drinking at the Black Bull, his friends just figure he went down to Mexico to find himself a girlfriend and eventually will come back. But this case quickly becomes a homicide after the sheriff discovers the missing man floating in one of his stock tanks.

For a man who wasn’t known to have enemies, Buddy clearly upset someone. Figuring out who that was will require Virgil and his deputy, Jimmy, to retrace Buddy’s last steps—and to remain a step ahead of a murderer who may have no qualms about killing again …

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This is a great debut from Frank Hayes!

He has created a wonderful character in Virgil Dalton. Virgil is half Native American and in addition to being the Sheriff of Hayward he is also a rancher and a lawyer. When Buddy Hinton disappears he thinks the guy has just run off but when his body is found he soon realizes big town trouble has come to the little town of Hayward.

All the clues lead back to the Black Bull, a local watering hole for ranch hands on and off for 30 years. With the help of his small band of deputies and insight from his ranch manager, Cesar, and his grandfather that lives on the reservation, Virgil starts to put the pieces together and uncovers more than a few secrets.

I was in the mood to read something a little different so I grabbed this book and once I started reading I couldn’t put it down. Hayes is a terrific storyteller. He is a very descriptive writer. I felt like I was watching a movie instead of reading a book.  He also fleshed out his characters in a way that truly engaged me as a reader. The final twist was a real shocker too! This really can’t be Frank Hayes first novel. He is definitely an author to watch.

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 About The Author
Frank Hayes is a high school teacher who has started a new career as a novelist. He lives and writes in New York’s mid-Hudson River valley. Death at the Black Bull is his first book.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

5 thoughts on “Review/Giveaway – Death at the Black Bull by Frank Hayes

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