Meeker, Lloyd A. “Blood and Dirt: A Russ Morgan Mystery”, Wilde City Press, 2015.
A Feuding Family
I have always felt that family arguments are the worst in the world and I really used to stay away as far as possible when I sensed that one was about to begin. Looking back, I miss them now—there is very little family left and those of us who are still would rather relax than argue. Our psychic private eye Russ Morgan soon finds himself right in the middle of a family feud while investigating a vandalized marijuana field in Colorado. Five siblings are fighting over Ellis Ranch, the family property that is soon to go bankrupt if not saved by marijuana sales. Of course, as we all know from our own experiences, no one agrees and there is one who is willing to do what it takes to make his point.
As if this family is not enough of a headache for him, Russ is dealing with his own personal issue; his relationship with Colin Stewart who is younger than him by half his age. On one hand he feels that this relationship will only break his heart but on the other hand it has grounded him and it is a good partnering.
For those of you who are not aware of Lloyd Meeker’s writing, this is his second book in his Russ Morgan series. Before this came “Enigma” and it was there that we learn about Russ’s uniqueness as a private eye. It is not necessary to read the prior book in order to enjoy “Blood and Dirt” but in doing so, you will better understand Russ.
Evan Landry has hired Russ to investigate the marijuana incident at the ranch. It is there that he meets the five siblings—Stanford Sr. and his adult children Stanford Jr., Marianne, Billy, Evan and Sarah. It is impossible not to notice the sibling rivalry but it is actually more than just rivalry. Russ is soon caught up in the whole mess and that includes dealing with Stanford Senior, the father, who questions whether he did the right thing. Soon the destruction of the property leads to murder and Russ realizes that he is involved in this whole business more than he had planned and it is not easy for him to be around people who are so vindictive and greedy.
Deputy Sheriff Heath Baker enters the story to investigate the murder. There is something put-offish about him and even though he flirts with Russ, he does not want his help on the case. Russ does not take this so easily and he uses some of his psychic ability to let Sheriff Heath know who he is.
I mentioned earlier Russ’s relationship with Colin and now we see that Colin really wants to be with him while Russ thinks that they both could become hurt. Russ is also a bit scared of the fact that Colin is so much more mature than others his age. Colin and Russ are careful with their feelings for each other and it is clear that neither man wants to hurt the other in any way.
Now some of you are wondering why I so quickly dropped the case and wrote about Russ and Colin. If I had said anymore about the ranch and the family, I might have given something away that would ruin the read for others. Meeker gives us a wonderful read with fascinating characters written in excellent prose and I do not want to spoil anyone’s read and enjoyment. But I might add that if you are interested in growing medical marijuana, this is a good place to begin reading about it.