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Book details
  • Genre:FICTION
  • SubGenre:African American & Black / Mystery & Detective
  • Language:English
  • Pages:130
  • Paperback ISBN:9781543912043

A Theft of Crabs

A Historyland Highway Mystery

by Buck Bodwell

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A Theft of Crabs is a tale of a Virginia marine policeman's efforts to investigate and solve a John Doe murder. The story takes place on a peninsula known locally as the Northern Neck and near and within the modern day towns of Warsaw and Tappahannock, Virginia. As the policeman works to solve the mystery, a back story unfolds of one slave's attempt to fulfill a commitment to his master, Francis Lee, a signer of the U. S. Declaration of Independence. The back story spans more than two centuries. The two stories ultimately converge to create a poignant ending.
A Theft of Crabs is two stories: a current murder mystery and a historical story involving multiple generations of a slave family. The slave story progresses from the founding of our nation through the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, the Civil War, Reconstruction, World Wars I and II, into modern times. Both stories are set in Tidewater, Virginia, and take place in and near the Virginia towns of Warsaw and Tappahannock. The current day murder mystery begins with the discovery of an unidentified, drowned young man's body tangled in the line of a submerged crab pot. The discovery is made by a local crab fisherman who's crab-pots have been recently raided. Jethro Taliaferro, a Virginia marine policeman is assigned the task of investigating the case. His search for answers leads him on a painstaking journey through Warsaw, Tappahannock, and later Mechanicsville and Richmond, Virginia. When the John Doe is determined to be the teenaged son of a prominent State official, Taliaferro is pulled off the case. He then focuses on investigating the mastery surrounding the stolen crabs. The historical slave story begins when Francis Lightfoot Lee, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, gives his principal slave, Old Eli, a gold coin to safeguard. Soon after, Lee and his wife Becky die without heirs and their Menokin Plantation reverts to Becky's father's family: the Tayloes. Old Eli creates a poem that is passed down from one generation to the next that describes were the coin is hidden. As the two stories conclude, information passed down over the generations leads Taliaferro to solve both mysteries and the dangerous discovery of a sinister plan to commit murder.
About the author
Buck Bodwell is a seventy plus year old, first-time author. He set out to write the great American novel at the tender age of nineteen but soon decided he should wait until he knew more about life. Now he wonders if he waited too long. His prior fiction writing experience focused on a series of locally published humorous short stories under the title “Tales from Chigger Ridge.” Buck was an officer in the U. S. Army during the Viet Nam War. After graduate school he worked for a major U. S. corporation in a variety of human resources, administrative and engineering management positions. He is currently President of PT Consulting Partners, a Texas corporation that provides Internet marketing services to businesses and organizations.