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Final Undertaking: Barry Clatyon Mystery    by Mark de Castrique order for
Final Undertaking
by Mark de Castrique
Order:  USA  Can
Poisoned Pen, 2007 (2007)
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Buryin' Barry Clayton returns to print in Final Undertaking, the fourth in the series featuring undertaker Barry who, in this episode, moonlights as a deputy.

Barry returned to Gainesboro, North Carolina to take over his family's undertaking parlor after his father was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. He left a position in a police department, with the FBI as his ultimate goal. During a parade in the small mountain town, a gunman appears, looking for a man who escapes. Shots are exchanged and one man lies dead with others wounded. One of the wounded is the local sheriff, who is shot in the chest. He appoints Barry as a deputy and the plot thickens.

De Castrique's books are pretty much the same. And, believe me, that is to the good. He writes tightly plotted stories with fast-paced action. His main characters are ones that I welcome back with each book. I've come to like Barry very much. He's a good man hard to find many of them these days. He has a conscience, but can step over the line when necessary. The author's sense of humor surfaces when the story line needs to take a breather.

The little town of Gainesboro is in the Appalachian chain an area I love so the terrain seems very familiar. A quick trip to Florida ties in with the shooting. But more is there than meets the eye. And all the time, Barry must continue in his day job burying his friends and neighbors. The story of the cat in the coffin is not to be missed, and you can't go wrong spending time with Barry, in all his undertakings.

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