"The scam in de Castrique's debut is complex...the regional background sensitive and savory."
When his father was stricken with Alzheimer's, Barry Clayton left the Charlotte police force for the small mountain community of Gainesboro, North Carolina, where his family runs the local funeral home. "Buryin' Barry" reluctantly assumed the mantle of town undertaker, trying to fit his life into this somber profession.
Almost at once it turns deadly. At the graveside service for an elderly woman, a grieving grandson strides in clad like Clint Eastwood in a duster, rips out a shotgun, and murders his family. Then the shooter turns the weapon on Barry. "Take a message to my grandmother," Dallas Willard shouts. "Tell her they tried to take the land. Tell her I love her." The blast hits Barry in the shoulder.
Barry is not cut from the same black cloth as his father, and his irreverent wit and independence have already won him the friendship of the county sheriff, Tommy Lee Wadkins. Besides, Barry's a police pro. Trusting his wounds to the hands of local surgeon Susan Miller, Barry begins a search for both the killer and the reason for his crime. When a second shooting occurs-and Dallas Willard's body is discovered at the bottom of a quarry pond, it becomes clear that Gainesboro is caught in the grip of something more than a deadly family quarrel....
Mark de Castrique grew up in the mountains of western North Carolina where his mysteries are set. A veteran of the television and film production industry, he is an adjunct professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Dangerous Undertaking is the first in the series, followed by Grave Undertaking, Foolish Undertaking, and Final Undertaking.