Reveling in outrageous shenanigans and hilariously off-kilter characters, Shoveling Smoke does for East Texas what Carl Hiaasen's novels do for South Florida. Burned-out corporate lawyer Clay Parker chucks it all and moves from Houston to a tiny firm in a dusty small town, searching for his lost integrity and a simpler life. Instead, he lands in the middle of a bungled fraud case defending the disreputable and downright nasty Bevo Rasmussen, accused of torching the stables housing his over-insured thoroughbreds. Immediately confronted with corrupt officials, crazed survivalists, an incompetent hit man, an emu, and a naked county clerk, along with an assortment of vengeful wives and great barbecue, Clay discovers that nothing is what it seems to be. By the end, our hero gets way more than he bargained for, justice (Texas-style) gets served, and the reader gets a laugh-out-loud first novel.