"Then I shot him. Shot him dead. Right there in the school yard. Then I did Frankie Belle in on Saturday because, you know, why the hell not?"

A small Colorado ranching community comes romping to life in this contemporary mystery filled with a cadre of characters that give a whole new meaning to eccentric. Law officers, water thieves, a German with a checkered past, and an oldster with an imaginary dog are just some of the people who populate these pages with flamboyant foibles that keep the smiles one step ahead of the surprises in a tantalizing tale of escape, evasion, mayhem, murder and more.

It all starts with what appears to be a corrupt ICE Agent who attempts to extort funds from a Mexican family who has long lived and worked in the community with the approval of their neighbors but without the official stamp of legal status. Soon the dad, mom, teenager, and Jesus—not the son of God, but rather a precocious three-year-old—are dispersing and attempting to hide out among the citizenry. The family's troubles escalate as the annual Potato Days festival is rocked when attendees find a dead body, which unfortunately won't be the last to turn up.

Author Gallob's pen is filled with the ink of both humor and humanity. Her style has echoes of a bawdy Ken Kesey or the early, quirky work of Thomas McGuane. Her prose bounces along like a Sunday buggy ride, and her dialogue expertly captures the wit, warmth, and wisdom of people who live off the land. She constructs a pace that allows space for tell-tale tributaries to branch off and supply backstories that provide insights into character motivation and behavior. Gallob is a confident storyteller comfortable in her milieu. Those who like their mysteries to have a down-home feel will be more than satisfied with this one.

Gallob's Baby Skulls and Fowl Odor was a 2015 Eric Hoffer Book Award Category Finalist.

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