First Edition stated. Rural Kentucky set murder mystery novel including moonshine production, Federals, "Dummy Axling, the deaf mute, part lover and part sadist". Uncommon title featuring Sheriff Jess Roden. "In a surprisingly violent scene early in the book a group of overgrown delinquents bent on ending the dog pack attacks go on a killing spree savagely and sadistically doing in a number of pets unfortunately running loose in the area. Roden sets his own dogs (he owns five) on the men with a hidden agenda of incurring dog attack wounds so that he can compare them with the wounds in the corpse of Vivian Beck. This is how the law works in rural Kentucky in the early 1940's. Bigfoot Paden is a moonshine maker with a still hidden away in an abandoned mine. Carlyn Aljor is a femme fatale of a nurse taking care of Ivy Martin, an ungrateful invalid, but spends her time seducing Chas Beck, the victim's handsome husband, whenever she has a chance. Then there's Dummy Axling, a deaf mute who is a key witness but whose communication skills are almost completely absent. His wild gesticulating and grunting lead only to more confusion rather than clearing up the strange circumstances surrounding the murder of Vivian Beck. Finally, there's Big Nig, the token stereotyped black character complete with insulting phonetic dialect. He's deputized by a US marshal in order to persuade moonshiner Bigfoot Paden to cooperate with the law. Big Nig's major scene is a Kentucky duel of sorts with the moonshiner." [J. F. Norris. Pretty Sinister Books] Very Good, vertical tape shadow at pastedowns, rear endpaper with some date stamps (perhaps a lightly used lending library), in Very Good dustjacket, scotch tape shadows at fore-edge of flaps, some soiling and wear.