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Before She Dies (Bill Gastner Mystery #4)

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  212 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Posadas Register reporter Linda Real barely survives a nighttime patrol with one of Undersherrif Bill Gastner's deputies. Her face is ruined by a shotgun blast, but the deputy is dead, and Bill is beyond angry. With the assistance of sharp-eyed detective Estelle Reyes-Guzman, Bill implicates thethrill-seeking daughter of the local Republican County Chairman. Before he can ...more
Kindle Edition, 265 pages
Published (first published 1996)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 307)
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Steven Havill writes a wonderful series about law enforcement in fictional Posadas County, New Mexico. Under-sheriff Bill Gastner is overweight, out of shape, loves Mexican food, and is one of those people you would just love to know. He's empathetic and kind, intelligent and tenacious and he knows the county better than the back of his hand. As someone who lives in a sparsely populated county, I really respect the difficulties faced by the sheriff's deputies. At any given time they might be res ...more
Another good read in this series, this time has the Undersheriff investigating the murder of a member of his own squad. Good descriptions that continue to help with character development, and with a sense of the landscape, with the setting in southern New Mexico.
Robert J.
This is an early Gastner novel set in New Mexico, strong police procedural structure with nice use of evidentiary procedure and fairly subtle clues (at least they were subtle to me). It's a wonder anyone has cars in New Mexico what with most of them being shipped South of the Border with impunity. And that's probably the big flaw: the police are focused more on the plot-related crimes than on their jobs, and that left me feeling a little dubious about the police work, not good in a procedural. F ...more
Cathy Cole
These Posadas County mysteries are little gems. All about family and friends and support and compassion, when something bad happens to one of them, everyone is galvanized to do something to help. The elements in this series that keep me coming back for more are the picture perfect setting of a small town in the Southwest with its entwined heritage of the Hispanic, Native American and Anglo residents; truly intriguing plots that usually keep me stumped; and a cast of characters with whom you feel ...more
Undersherrif Bill Gastner - overweight, ageing and insomniac but stills ticking to his resolve to be a non-smoker. .This time it turns out to be smuggling cars across the Mexican border which the investigation into the death of drunken, young, wild Tammy turns up. Sense of place is strong in the setting and the society. Definitly dusty little border town New Mexico, this.
#4 in the Posadas County mystery series. I discovered this series in August 2010 and promptly shoehorned the first five into my overloaded reading schedule in as many weeks. As part of the world outside the mystery realism found in the series, reporter Linda Real loses an eye during a ride-along with a deputy. Real rehabs and joins the Sheriff's Department as a recurring character. Very enjoyable series.

Posadas County mystery - Reporter Linda Real barely survives her nighttime patrol with a depu
This is number 4 in the Sheriff Bill Gastner mysteries. I listened to it before book 3 because the previous one wasn't available for check out from my local library yet. And so, there was a little gap in what I missed in the third book.

I am still impressed with Steven Havill's plots. So far he has come up with plots that are not typical of police procedurals or cozy mysteries. Unlike "Murder She Wrote" stories, where you wonder how so many murders can happen in such a small town, the crimes in t
Joyce Cantrell
I liked this book. The characters are great, and I liked the problem solving that takes place in the novel. I am a fan of all of Steven Havill's books!
PROTAGONIST: Undersheriff Bill Gastner
SETTING: New Mexico

Fourth in the series.
I am tearing through this series, staying up too late at night :-). In general, the characters are wonderful, the plots a little weak in the finish. Crash scenes that were depicted so well in the early books are starting to sound a little repetitive by book four, but the people and situations, including the motives for their crimes, continue to be fun and to ring true.
Once again Havill delights his readers with this episode in the Bill Gastner series. The undersheriff still can't sleep, Estelle is back as his part-time detective and one of his other deputies has been shot. Now he and Estelle work together to solve the mystery is a delightful ride. These stories fit nicely in the police procedural with a cozy bent. I'll be getting the next book in the series soon because I love visiting with these people.
Good police procedural set in rural New Mexico. Gastner is a wonderful character.
Carol Crigger
The title to this one doesn't say much for the story, but I have a history of enjoying books from Poisoned Pen Press so picked it up. Sure glad I did as it kept me turning the pages. I love books set in the rural areas of the country and Mr. Havill does a great job with the setting on this one. Excellent characters, too.
I listened to this book, and really enjoyed it. The main character is a man after my own heart, over-weight, older, gets short of breath, but the wise old cop who knows all. The narrator was perfect for the book. Good light reading!
Martha Newman
I love this author and I love Sheriff Bill Gastner! He's an overweight 60-something sheriff in the vast nowhere of the boot heel of New Mexico where the closest town of any size is Deming.
Another wonderful Undersherif Gastner story. Stolen vehicles, murders,wrecked vehicles. Great plot.
Gypsy Lady
Fictional American Southwest setting featuring Sheriff Gastner and company.
Jim Sampson
Truly great read by the author. Great characters who the story is told through.
Great book; great characters and setting.
Rodney added it
Apr 19, 2015
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Steven F. Havill is an American author of mysteries and westerns.

Havill lives in Raton, New Mexico, with his wife Kathleen. He has written two series of police procedurals set in the fictional Posadas County, New Mexico; along with other works.

More about Steven F. Havill...

Other Books in the Series

Bill Gastner Mystery (10 books)
  • One Perfect Shot (Bill Gastner Mystery, #.05)
  • Heartshot
  • Bitter Recoil
  • Twice Buried
  • Privileged to Kill (Bill Gastner Mystery, #5)
  • Prolonged Exposure (Bill Gastner Mystery, #6)
  • Out of Season (Bill Gastner Mystery, #7)
  • Dead Weight (Bill Gastner Mystery, #8)
  • Bag Limit (Bill Gastner Mystery, #9)
Heartshot Bitter Recoil Red, Green, or Murder (Posadas County Mystery, #7) Twice Buried Scavengers (Posadas County Mystery, #1)

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