Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Dark Harvest article

Date: 04 Jan 2007

Richard wrote:

"I find it of interest that he is teaching a class in noir at Ole Miss and I noted several authors mentioned in the article that I hope to explore such as Ace Atkins."

I've read two of his. Both featured an ex-football player who tracked down old blues singers and the stories behind their songs (also taught part time in a college folklore department). These stories inevitably lead to murders he must investigate. That's an interesting premise and the blues tracker is a likeable character.

The first book dealt with Robert Johnson's death (may have changed his name) and was a pretty good read. The second dealt with the diaspora of the blues from the Mississippi delta to Chicago. The mystery involved a woman rotting in jail for the murder of Billy Lyons. However, anyone with any knowledge of blues (or roots country, the two of which had a huge overlap the first half of the 20th century) knows who really killed Billy Lyons. And without the whodunnit, the book didn't have a whole lot to offer. I haven't picked up any more books by Atkins.


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