Set in the Missouri hill country, Death of Sweet Mister presents one eventful summer in the life of Shug, a friendless, overweight 13-year-old living with his mother, Glenda in the caretaker's cottage at the local cemetery, Glenda flirts incessantly, even with her son, who is becoming increasingly aware of her charms. Glenda's husband, Red (who may or may not be Shug's father), comes and goes, bringing money occasionally and strife a lot more often. This summer Red is training Shug in the family business, using the juvenile without a record to perform the burglaries that are getting too risky for Red himself. Shug's efforts to protect his mother from Red, from other admirers, and from her own rash decisions come to a head one hot summer night.
Dan Woodrell comes from a long line of Ozarkers that stretch back before the Civil War. A high school dropout he joined the marine corps at 17. The military and he saw things differently. A period of post military drifting ended up at the University of Kansas and a Michener fellowship at the Iowa Writers School, where he was definitely the odd man out. His has written six other novels published by No Exit, Under the Bright Lights, Muscle for the Wing, The Ones You Do, the civil war novel, Woe to Live On, filmed by Ang Lee as Ride with the Devil, Give Us A Kiss and Tomato Red. He lives in West Plains, Missouri with his wife, the writer, Katie Estill