Re: RARA-AVIS: Crumley and Atkins

From: Karin Montin (
Date: 01 May 2009

  • Next message: Mark Sullivan: "RE: RARA-AVIS: Crumley and Atkins"

    Hi, Tapani,

    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 somewhere)

    On 01/05/2009 5:13 PM, Tapani Bagge wrote:
    > Hi,
    > 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:
    > Yahoo! Groups Links

    Karin Montin

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 01 May 2009 EDT