Silver Dagger, Dec 2001, 13.95, 220 pp.
Bigotry thrives in Gallagher, Virginia in 1921, as the local Negroes know their place and what would happen to them if they step out of line. Drifter Mose Davenport hooks up with Ophelia who works for the white doctor. They are blamed for his death when an old gossip observes them leaving the doctor's place just before his dead body is found. Hester Rose is with Mose and Ophelia when the police arrest Mose and she witnesses his lynching.
In the present, criminal history professor Lizzie Stuart works at Piedmont University while writing a book about the Mose incident, a project she believes will help her professionally and personally. Before she gets deep into her research, she is the only person in the building when faculty member Richard Colby is murdered. Wanting to cease being the prime suspect, Lizzie decides to do a little investigating on her own, a move that places her in danger.
Frankie Y. Bailey knows how to write a regional academic mystery that keeps the reader turning the pages to find out what happens next. A DEAD MAN'S HONOR is a very atmospheric book that gives the audience the comparative flavor of the south in the present and in 1921. The heroine is a smart, understanding free thinking woman who makes her decisions and stands by them. This is an enjoyable one sitting reading experience.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner