Monday, October 6, 2014

Death at the Black Bull {+ Giveaway}

Death at the Black Bull coverI’m thrilled today to be able to tell you about a new author and debut novel that will hold you captivated from beginning to end.

The author is Frank Hayes and the book is DEATH AT THE BLACK BULL, which releases tomorrow. Thanks to Danielle and the lovely folks at Penguin Group, I have a print copy of this fascinating story to giveaway to a lucky visitor to Thoughts in Progress. Please see the end of the post for more details of the giveaway.

Here are my thoughts on this new release ……….


The setting for DEATH AT THE BLACK BULL is modern with the flavor of the Old West blended in smoothly for a mesmerizing story.

Virgil Dalton has been the sheriff of Haywood, a sleepy little Southwestern town, for more than a dozen years. Haywood has had its share of crime over those years, but dark secrets among some of the residents has brought a new kind of killer to town.

Everyone seemed to like Buddy Hinton so when he went missing after a night of drinking at the Black Bull, no one worried. When his prized pickup truck is found in a ravine, friends knew something was wrong. Then the missing person’s case turned to murder when Virgil discovered Buddy’s floating body in one of his stock tanks.

Virgil and his deputies begin retracing Buddy’s last steps to lead them back to his killer. Seems there’s more going on in Haywood than cattle, trucking, pecans and tumbleweeds.

Author Frank Hayes has created likable, realistic characters in his debut novel. He has carved out characters readers will want to know read about again and again. His secondary characters are strong and add depth to the story.

The setting is inviting and the story flows quickly with ease. The twists add suspense and intrigue as the tale unfolds. DEATH AT THE BLACK BULL is a touch of western blended with a hint of romance with a good dose of suspense and sprinkled with humor for a fascinating read. If you’re a fan of the writings of Craig Johnson and the late Tony Hillerman, you don’t want to miss this tantalizing debut by Frank Hayes.

Hang up your hat, prop up your boots and grab a copy of DEATH AT THE BLACK BULL for a rip-roaring good read.

Death at the Black Bull by Frank Hayes, Sheriff Virgil Dalton Mystery Book #1, Berkley (Prime Crime), @2014, ISBN: 978-0425274293, Paperback Trade Size, 320 Pages 

FTC Full Disclosure – A copy of this book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review. The thoughts are completely my own and given honestly and freely.


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.


This giveaway is for one print copy of DEATH AT THE BLACK BULL. The giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. only and no post office box addresses can be accepted. The giveaway will end at 12 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 13.

To enter, just click on the Rafflecopter widget below and follow the instructions. The widget may take a few seconds to load, so please be patient. The winner will be contacted by email and will have 72 hours to respond before another winner is selected. The email subject line will read ‘Thoughts in Progress Death at the Black Bull Giveaway’ just so you know what to look for (in case the email goes into your spam folder).

Thanks for stopping by today. Do you enjoy stories that have a modern setting with a hint of the Old West blended in? Did you enjoy watching westerns on TV while growing up? If so, who was your favorite?

*This post contains affiliate links. a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Oh, new author for me, looks like a good theme; I hope to get a chance to read it, thank you!

  2. Mason - This does sound like an interesting setting for the novel. Sometimes those small towns do hold some dark secrets...

  3. Men don't part with their prized vehicles easily, especially pickups - that was a big clue all right!

  4. I love stories with a flavor of the old west.

    lag110 at mchsi dot com

  5. Sounds like a great story, and the fact that it has strong, likable characters, makes it even better!

  6. Nothing like a good SW murder to stir my interest. I'm in! Good luck with the book!

  7. A very captivating story, setting and interesting combination of Old West, mystery and romance. Thanks. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  8. Oh I LOVE westerns. Probably because my dad made me watch them as a child. :) And this is a mystery, too!

  9. Sounds real good to me.

  10. Thanks for the intro to this new author. I have a feeling we'll enjoy this book very much. I'm pretty old so there were still a few classic westerns on TV when I was very small. I do remember enjoying Bonanza and The Rifleman.

  11. The book sounds exciting. I watched all the westerns. Maverick was my favorite.

  12. Sounds like a wonderful read—thanks for the opportunity to win a copy!

    skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

  13. a 'must-read' for me!!!
    thank you!!!

  14. I loved TV westerns growing up. My favorite was Maverick

  15. i am always looking for good mysteries to read. a mystery with a western flare is appealing. thanks for the review.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.