Sheriff Syl Tilghman's father was sheriff, and to the townspeople of Arahpot that was qualification enough to name him as sheriff as well. In general, it's not a tough job...until a murder brings out all the town's secrets.
The main character, Syl, is a fun character to follow though the murder mystery that send Arahpot into turmoil. Syl isn't your typical sheriff. He's no Wyatt Erp, dedicated to the law and fired up to police the town. I chuckled a bit at Syl's general lack of knowledge of the townspeople he lives with his nonchalance about his job in the beginning. He seems more concerned with making sure he gets all his meals.
I enjoyed watching him face the mystery of the murders and the back-stories that led to the murders. Syl really steps up as the book progresses and seems to find out how much his job really means to him. His awareness of the townspeople and his relationship with them changes as well. I enjoyed his interactions with the gypsy people as well. His disbelieving attitude doesn't stop him from treating them respectfully. They gypsy people added an interesting element to the story.
The side characters in the book like Syl's girlfriend, Lydia, and deputy, Cyrus, where great additions to the book. Lydia balanced out Syl's initial lack of knowledge of the townspeople and added a more gentle side to the investigation. Deputy Cyrus turns out to be more helpful than Syl thinks he will be and he adds a more humorous side to the story with his boasting and personality. Many of the side characters prove memorable and enjoyable. Even the bad guys leave an impression.
The overall mystery was well thought out. I found some parts of it to be somewhat predictable, but I still enjoyed watching the characters discover the truth. This was a fun, fast read. It isn't a hardcore western or mystery thriller, but it's an enjoyable read that will entertain the readers who want interesting characters and good mystery.