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Crossroad Blues by Ace Atkins

>> Sunday, August 19, 2007

Published: 1998
Genre: Mystery
Pages: 274
Challenges:
Summer Mystery Reading Challenge #6

Once again, I have to thank
My Surly Friend because without her, I'd never have heard about Ace Atkins. This book is the first in a series that I definitely plan to continue reading.

Nick Travers is a former professional football player who is now teaching the History of Blues at Tulane and occasionally playing harmonica at his friend, JoJo’s club in (pre-Katrina) New Orleans. When a fellow professor disappears while researching Blues legend Robert Johnson in Mississippi, Nick gets involved and ends up entwined in the mystery of not only the disappearance of his colleague, but also in the legend of the life and mysterious death of Johnson back in 1938.

The writing definitely sets a mood, not only of New Orleans and Mississippi, but the music and culture of the blues as well. The bad guys are really nasty, Nick is likeable, but flawed, and the story takes many twists and turns, some of which involve a scary Elvis lookalike and worshipper. Robert Johnson is a real person and his death really is a bit of a mystery. Atkins deftly uses that as a starting point and blends it into an interesting and very moody story. I look forward to continuing with the Nick Travers series.

Confession time: I have admit that whenever I put this book down I made sure it was face down. The cover image is perfect and well-suited for the book. It was just a shame, however, to put this book down without leaving the
author’s photo on the back in plain view.

10 comments:

Literary Feline 8/19/2007 10:33 PM  

This does sound good! I am not familiar with the author, but I will definitely go looking for him now that you've recommended this book. Great review!

Lynne 8/20/2007 2:47 AM  

Sounds like a good book. And I'd have the author's picture face-up too!

Joy 8/20/2007 8:08 AM  

LOL ... I loved that! :) I'm bummed that I couldn't enlarge the picture. :(

As for the book, sounds like something to look into. Thanks.

SuziQoregon 8/20/2007 7:03 PM  

Literary Feline: I've seen him described as a 'southern noir' writer and I think that's a good description.

Lynne: LOL - At least the picture was on the outside of the back cover and not inside :-)

Joy: hee hee

Bookfool 8/20/2007 8:13 PM  

Whoa! That's one heck of a good-looking author! I see your point. :)

What part of the state did the Mississippi bits take place? That sounds like poor grammar. Oh, well. You're not an English teacher, right?

SuziQoregon 8/20/2007 8:46 PM  

Bookfool: the MS action was in the Greenwood area (where the real Robert Johnson died).

Booklogged 8/24/2007 10:19 AM  

I'm adding this one to my TBR list, too. Although I plan to read it, I may just leave it lying around for months before and after with the cover face down. Hehe!

SuziQoregon 8/24/2007 6:44 PM  

Booklogged: Oh yeah - now there's a good plan. Lucky for me, my husband is reading it now. I wonder if he's noticing that I keep turning his book upside down?

Joy 10/10/2007 5:03 AM  

After your comment to Surly, I had to come back and revisit this one. I think I'll add it to my 1st in a Series list. Thanks, Suzi. :)

SuziQoregon 10/10/2007 7:27 AM  

Joy - I think you might like it - the writing definitely sets a mood.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to leave a comment. I read and respond them here although not always right away. If you would prefer an email response let me know.

I do moderate comments on posts older than 14 days in order to control spam. I will approve your legitimate comments as soon as I can.

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