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Murder by Reference
ISBN 0345368614 / 9780345368614 / 0-345-36861-4
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It's no Halloween trick when mild-mannered Brad Hemphill -- curator of the Texas Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum -- materializes in a museum display in the dead of night. The meek young man is as dead as the dinosaur skeleton he's perched upon.
While local legend says the museum is haunted by the spirit of a pioneer woman, only a human hand could have swung the blunt object that cracked the curator's skull. But as the police interrogate the eccentric museum staff in search of who?, peerless attorney John Lloyd Branson seeks to uncover the killer by asking why?
The only thing missing from the carefully planned, cold-blooded crime is a motive. No one had reason to want poor Brad Hemphill dead . . . . At least no visible reason. So, with the aid of Lydia Fairchild, his trusted legal assistant, the flamboyant Branson undertakes his own investigation -- scaring up ghosts from the past and rattling family skeletons as he zeroes in on a secret so shocking it's worth killing for . . . . [via]