Sooner Than Gold, by J. R. Lindermuth
It’s the summer of 1898. The nation, just coming out of an economic slump, has been at war with Spain since April. And Sylvester Tilghman, sheriff of Arahpot, PA, has a murder victim with many enemies.
There’s Claude, found with a knife in his hand, and Rachel, a surly teen who say she intended harm. The gypsies claim the victim is the goryo who stole their young woman. If this isn’t complication enough, add in threats to his job, a run-in with a female horse thief; scary predictions by a fortuneteller, and the theft of Doc Mariner’s new motorcar, plus plenty of good eating, church-going and socializing.
Before all is over, Sylvester solves the crime and even comes closer to his goal of finally marrying longtime girlfriend Lydia Longlow.