I wanted to like this book far better than I did. After all, Sharyn McCrumb is a favorite author -- and the person whose novels inspired me to investigate forensic anthropology (now my major as adult college student).Sadly, "Once Around the Track" was something of a disappointment. It lacked McCrumb's usual humor and style, present in nearly all of her books, and lacked the suspense of all the others I've read. Perhaps it's just that I am not a NASCAR fan, but I never really connected with any of the characters or subplots.Where McCrumb was *spot-on,* though, was her examination of fandom -- regardless of the milieu. From the people who simply enjoy to the work of their favorite to the creepily obsessed, she looked at the type of people who engage in fannish behaviors. As someone involved in actor's fandom (and who walked away from active involvement because of some of the rather creepy/stalkerish folk there with whom I did not wish to be associated), I have seen this behavior in action. Really, I would not recommend this book for anyone except NASCAR fans. A disappointment.