Hardrock Stiff: A Kurt Muller Mystery
Ned Carr is a "hardrock stiff, " a miner of the old school who for years has stubbornly held on to acres of prime real estate right in the middle of Aspen's most popular ski slope. Carr has a habit of feuding with everyone with whom he comes in contact--particularly the radical eco-warriers and their adversary, Skicorp, both of whom want to get their hands on Carr's land. Still Sheriff Kurt Muller (on sabbatical) has a soft spot for Carr. Following up a suspicious midnight phone call, Muller arrives the next morning at Carr's mine--just in time to witness the explosion that blows the old man to bits. Acting Sheriff Muffin Brown is convinced the explosion is an accident, but Muller's instincts tell him otherwise. Drawn into dangerous games of the militant "greenies" and the powerful corporate forces behind Skicorp Muller uncovers many a motive for murder. When Carr's mining associate is subsequently poisoned, his will disappears and with it any proof that Carr's young grandson is the heir to Carr's estate. Sheriff Kurt Muller once again finds his personal code of justice at odds with the limits of the law. "Hardrock Stiff" proves Thomas Zigal's talent for writing gritty, intricate suspense novels, and speaks to the issue at the heart of the contemporary American West: who owns the land?
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