OF EDWARD WATTS
Publish Date: December 8th, 2020
Pages: 233 pages
Covey and JayJay travel to China and then return home to deal with shady characters, spies, gangsters, and other tough customers. In an exciting last act, they solve a murder most foul.
Clueless Gent’s Rating for The Chinese Murder of Edward Watts
Covey Jencks is one of the most entertaining characters I’ve come across in my reading adventures. The Chinese Murder of Edward Watts only adds to that legacy. Actually, I believe it’s his best adventure yet!
Covey and JayJay — his girlfriend — get caught up with a group of Chinese men, and one woman, who seemingly need some information about the oil business. Covey’s legal client, Edward Watts, invites the Chinese group to Odessa, Texas, for some first-hand knowledge of oil field equipment and technology. However, when Edward Watts turns up dead, and the Chinese group flees Odessa in the middle of the night, Covey finds himself on the suspect list, as well as in the middle of some nefarious shenanigans.
“Confucius was a philosopher and an ethicist, but his advice was what West Texans would call common sense; it is what the Chinese call plain and simple truth.”
The main reason I enjoy Covey Jencks so much is that when he tells the story, I really feel like I’m just sitting in a bar or coffee shop with him, and he’s just going on about his latest exploits. He’s very homegrown, loves West Texas, and is very protective over his friends and family.
JayJay, on the other hand — and yes, she deserves her own paragraph — is less-trusting, more worldly, and can kill someone with her bare hands. Together, Covey and JayJay are like two puzzle pieces that fit perfectly beside the other. During Covey’s adventure with the Chinese, JayJay busies herself investigating the notorious Kiss and Kill Murder, a local high school legend.
The pacing in this story is truly wonderful. At no time did I consider it lagging or rushing. The pace was just as it needed to be to get the reader through to the end, where all the pieces come together.
This story seems to include everything that is important to the population of West Texas: high school football, the oil business, and the ongoing feud between Midland and Odessa. (“Odessa and Midland are the Hatfields and the McCoys of West Texas towns.”) When you add in the group of Chinese, you would think there would be a culture clash. (And you would be right.)
“A diplomat is someone who lies for a living.”
“A good diplomat is someone who can get you to do what he wants and make you think it is your idea.”
“An excellent diplomat can tell someone to go to hell and that person expects to enjoy the trip.”
One of the things I really like about author Shelton L. Williams is how he throws in some factual trivia to Covey’s adventures. In this story, that trivia includes the role certain groups played in the Chinese revolution from dynastic rule to modern China. I found it very interesting.
After the conclusion of the story, the author includes an Afterword that explains what’s real and what’s not. It also mentions how the story came about. I won’t tell you what it was, but I will say that I never really thought about it as I was reading the story, but now it makes perfect sense.
If I’ve managed to make you curious, I highly recommend you give this story a go. I have no doubt that you will find it as entertaining as I did.
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