Following the success of his collections of stories from funeral directors, schoolteachers, doctors, and lawyers, folklorist William Lynwood Montell presents a new volume of tales from Kentucky sheriffs. Montell collected stories from all areas of the state to represent the diversity of social and economic backgrounds in the various communities the officers serve.
Tales from Kentucky Sheriffs covers elections, criminal behavior, and sheriff's mistakes in a lighthearted and often humorous manner. The book includes accounts of a drunk driver who thought he was in a different state, a sheriff running a sting operation with the U.S. Marshals, and a woman reporting a tomato thief in her garden. Other accounts involve procedural errors with serious consequences, such as the tale of a sheriff who mistakenly informs a man that his son has committed suicide. Together, these firsthand narratives preserve important aspects of Kentucky's history not likely to be recorded elsewhere.
"The stories Montell collected fill up nearly 300 pages and range from humorous mishaps during incidents and interesting criminal behavior to the more somber topic of death in the line of duty." -- Central Kentucky News-Journal
"Wildly funny and deeply tragic, often at the same time, these tales chronicle each sheriff's journey from youth to election to office and, ocassionally, into retirement." -- Wayne County Outlook
"From shooting skunks to chasing wild hogs, Tales of Kentucky Sheriffs showcases the unpredictable situations in which officers find themselves." -- Paintsville (KY) Herald
"The numerous experiences shared by the people interviewed cover several decades and provide a very enlightening look into the world of Kentucky county-level law enforcement." -- Kentucky Ancestors
"[Montell] has once again mined an important element of the state's culture with utter transparency, and has -- once again -- done the state proud." -- Kentucky Monthly
" Tales from Kentucky Sheriffs so admirably updates an old format, the collection, with just enough scholarly adornment to get critical readers excited about new perspectives on community, folk voices, and folkloristic methodology." -- Journal of Folklore Research
"Has the markings of a linchpin study for the future researcher of Kentucky law enforcement, and of United States sheriffs in general." -- Journal of Folklore Research