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Dangerous Undertaking: A Buryin' Barry Mystery
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Dangerous Undertaking: A Buryin' Barry Mystery (Buryin' Barry Mystery #1)

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  140 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
Barry Clayton has a job he doesn't want. When his father became stricken with Alzheimer's, Barry left the Charlotte police force for the small mountain community of Gainesboro, North Carolina, where his family runs the local funeral home. "Buryin' Barry" reluctantly assumed the mantle of town undertaker, trying to fit his life into this somber profession. Almost at once it ...more
ebook, 254 pages
Published January 31st 2010 by Poisoned Pen Press
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Mark de Castrique – 1st book
It’s not often two people are shot and Appalachian policeman-turned-funeral director Barry Clayton is injured during a funeral.

This is an very good story of mountaineers versus profiteers set in Gainesboro, North Carolina. De Castrique conveys a wonderful sense of the location and the people, along with a good, suspenseful mystery. I would definitely read another by this author.
Jane Pope
Jan 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For a first book, this was surprisingly good. I had read his Sam Blackman series and enjoyed them. The Sam Blackman series is my favorite because of the literary tie in, but this is good enough to make me want to read the other "burying Barry" books.
Oct 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good fun, well plotted, well written, I will be reading more in this series.
Cathy Cole
Sep 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First Line: Crab Apple Valley Baptist Church sat high on a grassy knoll overseeing the sinners scattered along the valley floor.

Former Charlotte policeman Barry Clayton has a new job that he doesn't want. With his father caught in the talons of Alzheimer's, Barry quits the Charlotte police force and returns to the small mountain community of Gainesboro, North Carolina, to take over the role of town undertaker.

Almost immediately, his job turns deadly. At the graveside service for an elderly woman
Dangerous Undertaking by Mark de Castrique is the first book of the Buryin' Barry mystery series set in contemporary Gainesboro, North Carolina. Barry Clayton, formerly on Charlotte's police force, has returned to his family's business, the town's funeral home. Barry's awkward as an undertaker, but his father has Alzheimer's and can no longer run the business. At a graveside service, one of the heirs arrives late, with a shotgun. He murders his siblings, shoots Barry, then takes off. Barry can't ...more
Jan C
Oct 22, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, south
Former policeman (possibly detective) has to come home to western North Carolina to run the family business - undertaking - because his father has Alzheimer's. His girlfriend is a doctor and he gives her plenty of business.

Thought there were a few lulls here. It started out pretty good with Barry getting shot at a burial because the shooter wants Barry to give the deceased a message. Okay, the shooter isn't playing with a full deck.

There are a number of shootings in this book, plus the EPA com
Jan 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this series just as much as the Sam Blackman books, which means "thoroughly." Mark de Castrique has a unique ability to put me into the story quickly and keep me interested all the way through. Several of the books necessitated staying up into the early hours so I could finish. The first book in this series was a bit rough and unpolished in comparison to the rest, but I have a feeling it was an early work and just shows how much his writing improved. My only complaints are about things ...more
Debbie Maskus
Jul 24, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first chapter with the funeral scene remains as the best opening I have enjoyed. The story, told by Barry Clayton, unfolds in the North Carolina mountains. In this short novel, the characters dominant the pages from the circuit preacher, Lester Pace, to the reclusive liquor maker, Talmadge Watson; and many minor characters throughout the story. The weather, greed, and family loyalty greatly factor into the story. I have read both series by Mark de Castrique, but Barry Clayton pulls me into t ...more
Jan 10, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good first book, the character development was very interesting in the beginning, the way the story was put together and ended not quite as good, but you could tell that the author had known people in the hills of the southern US, and in the acknowledgements he mentions that his father had been an undertaker, so he knew the business part, too. Main character, Barry Clayton, is a thirty something police detective who has had to go back to his home town to be involved in the family funeral home bu ...more
Oct 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Being a fan of the Sam Blackman series by Mark de Castrique, I decided to give his Buryin' Barry series a try. Barry has come home to his North Carolina mountains to take over the family funeral home for his dad who has Alzheimer's. Barry, a former policeman, is shot during a funeral and is soon teamed up with his friend, the sheriff, to figure out what is going on. With big money property deals, shady electric company managers, a crazy preacher, and illegal dumping of toxic waste, the mystery i ...more
Sep 18, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Burying Barry Clayron, who was thus nick-named in high school because his family were the local undertakers, left his job in the Charlotte, North Carolina Police Department to return home to help his father. Having been diagnosed with Alzeimer's Barry's dad could no longer keep on working. Despite his lack of enthusiasm for the profession Barry has picked up the slack and is helping his mother and uncle when he almost has the need for a coffin himself as he barely dodges bullets at a funeral. Ba ...more
This was my first time reading this author. Author lives in North Carolina and the book is set in small-town North Carolina. Main character, Barry returns home to run his father's funeral business, after his father is diagnosed with Alzheimer Disease. While working a graveside service, a family member of the deceased shows up and shoots 2 of his family members and Barry and the story rocks on from there. Barry, as an ex-Charlotte, N.C. police officer gets involved helping the sheriff with his in ...more
3 1/2 stars. First I want to say that I read this off and on and it made it a bit hard to follow. So I had to go back a few times which is always tedious. But that was not the book's fault. The mystery is very good. I really liked Barry and the other characters in the book. I thought the depiction of North Carolina hill folks was good if a bit over the top. I did get the feeling I was right there, and I have relatives who fit into this category. So I am planning to read the next book because I t ...more
May 13, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Mark de Castrique writes an excellent story about a man who leaves his job with the police department to come back to his home town and help his uncle and mother run their funeral parlor because his father has Alzheimers. There are four books in this series, which go along the lines of the four seasons and the progression is beautiful. How he deals with solving mysteries and his father's progressing disease is well-written and very moving. Once you've read this series (preferably in order), hurr ...more
May 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
#1 in the Buryin' Barry series. Author de Castrique's debut novel.

Barry Clayton returns to his family funeral home in Gainsville, NC from his Charlotte PD job after his father is stricken with Alzheimer's. At the funeral of his grandmother, mentally disturbed Dallas Willard kills the remaining members of his family and shoots Barry, leaving a cryptic message. Barry and Sheriff Tommy Lee Wadkins, search for Dallas and his motives.
Oct 14, 2012 added it
Recommends it for: Linda Cooper
The first of 5 books in the Buryin' Barry series. Barry has moved back to his hometown from the big city of Charlotte when his dad develops Alzheimer's his dreams of joining the FBI are put on hold. His dad has been the long time funeral director in town. When two family members are shot at a burial Barry gets pulled into the investigation of why they were shot.
This book was OK. I enjoyed the choice of setting and the humoresque chatter amongst the mountain folk. There wasn’t much suspense when at last the mystery was revealed. Your typical big business and greed. This book was recommended to me by one of the ladies in bookclub.
May 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Despite the 'Buryin' Barry' tag which I found a little offputting, this book was beautifully written and rich with narrative and character detail - a well plotted mystery and definitely worth a read. I'm impressed by this author!
Sep 12, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Too many cliches to be enjoyable. Don't bother waisting your time on this mystery.
Mary Ahlgren
I particularly liked the setting and the voice/
Oct 04, 2011 marked it as wishlist
North Carolina
Aug 01, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
The first of the Burying Barry series.
Jan 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Love the setting. The reason Barry returns to his hometown (his father's Alzheimer's) adds a realistic touch, probably appreciated by many. It adds poignant moments.
Kitty Tomlinson
Barry come home from a police job in the city to his rural North Carolina home to take over his family's funeral home when his dad develops Alzheimer's.
Feb 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i liked the book, little too descriptive in some areas, but i liked the back countryfeel and the relationships of the characters, good read
Oct 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a very solid first book. Liked the story and the mystery, Buryin' Barry was a relatable protagonist and believable sleuth. Will continue this series with anticipation of some good readin'!
I've now read three of de Castrique's books and have been pleased with them all.
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Mark de Castrique is an author, playwright, public speaker, and television producer living in Charlotte.

Through his company MARK et al., he writes, shoots, and edits projects for a variety of clients.

His work has earned CLIO, TELLY, and EMMY awards.

Mark has scripted stories aired on PBS and commercial network affiliates, as well as created video presentations for major corporations.
More about Mark de Castrique...

Other Books in the Series

Buryin' Barry Mystery (6 books)
  • Blackman's Coffin (Sam Blackman, #1) (Buryin' Barry 0.5)
  • Grave Undertaking (Buryin' Barry, #2)
  • Foolish Undertaking (Buryin' Barry, #3)
  • Final Undertaking (Buryin' Barry, #4)
  • Fatal Undertaking (Buryin' Barry, #5)