Season of the Burning Souls
If most historical fiction is a glass of milk, Season of the Burning Souls is a tiki drink made out of 150-proof rum with an umbrella on top. This unique historical mystery takes place in 1943 Silver City, New Mexico. Amidst wartime shortages of sugar, tires and gasoline, Sheriff Sam Sinrod and County Coroner Bryce Whitlock try to solve several cases of spontaneous human combustion. The unlikely array of victims who erupt into flames – from a banjo player in a medicine show to the state arson investigator – defy their efforts to find a link between the fatalities. But that doesn’t stop them from trying, with dialogue reminiscent of M*A*S*H and plot twists that would be at home in Catch-22. Are the Nazis engaged in secret germ warfare? Has a Jap submarine unleashed a new biological weapon? This wildly imaginative story mixes historical fiction with mystery and a dash of science fiction. It may be an acquired taste, but it’s a lot of fun.