This is what I wrote back in Feb. 2004:
Leavin' Trunk Blues is another story altogether. Mark Sullivan has
mentioned it a number of times. Ruby Walker, serving life in prison for
killing Billy Lyons, asks Nick Travers, a blues tracker -- a university
professor who hunts down old songs and musicians and writes about them
-- to clear her name. At first he doesn't really believe she is innocent, but then events lend credence to her claim.
An unusual thing about this story is not just that it is based on a
well-known song about a murder, which tells us whodunnit right off the
bat, but that virtually all the characters are either from songs or are
actual historical figures. At the same time, I was reading the companion
book to the PBS blues series produced by Martin Scorscese, and the same
names kept cropping up. I wondered how their descendents feel about
having them portrayed as they are in the story.
The historical background was interesting and there was a lot of action.
It was good, but not great. I think I'll try to read his Crossroad
Blues, about the death of Robert Johnson, which most people seemed to
agree was better.
Karin (never got around to Crossroad Blues--still on one of my lists
On 01/05/2009 5:13 PM, Tapani Bagge wrote:
> I've recently read two very good hard-boiled crime novels, The Wrong
> Case by James Crumley and Devil's Garden by Ace Atkins.
> The Wrong Case is Crumley's first PI novel. It shows some debt to
> Chandler, but to me it seems a fresh and original take on the
> subject. It's almost as good as The Last Good Kiss.
> Has anybody else read anything by Atkins? He's already published
> seven novels, but Devil's Garden is the first one for me. It's focus
> is on Fatty Arbuckle and the infamous Virginia Rappe case, and the
> main character is one Sam Hammett, a Pinkerton man. A strong novel,
> good atmosphere and great characters.
> Tapani Bagge
> RARA-AVIS home page: http://www.miskatonic.org/rara-avis/
> Yahoo! Groups Links
-- Karin Montin
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 01 May 2009 EDT