Crossroad Blues: A Nick Travers Mystery

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9780312192549: Crossroad Blues: A Nick Travers Mystery
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The disappearance of a college professor investigating rumors of previously unknown recordings by renowned blues musician Robert Johnson, murdered more than fifty years earlier, leads football player-turned-blues historian Nick Travers along a dangerous trail as he seeks to unravel the dark truths behind an old mystery.

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Review:

Florida journalist and former college football player Ace Atkins takes full advantage of the legendary blues guitarist Robert Johnson's life, music, and strange death in his first mystery. And even though it bears the weight of two of the genre's most overused icons--a New Orleans setting and an ex-sports star as hero--Crossroad Blues is fresh and imaginative enough in all its other aspects to inspire hope for an ongoing series.

Yes, Nick Travers did play for the New Orleans Saints, but it wasn't an injury that turned him into a part-time detective and full-time expert on the blues. "Nick had been thrown out of the NFL for kicking his coach's ass during a Monday Night Football game," Atkins tell us. Now he teaches the occasional blues history class at Tulane, works on his biography of Guitar Slim, and plays his harmonica at JoJo's Blues Bar--a place so lovingly described that it should be real even if it isn't. When a Tulane colleague disappears on a quest for some hitherto unknown Johnson recordings in the Mississippi Delta town of Greenwood, Travers goes to look for him--and walks into a murderous mess of colorful sociopaths, including a deadly teenage Elvis lookalike and a slimy record producer who not only orchestrates violent crimes but also dares to use the blues as a marketing ploy for a chain of nightclubs. More, please. --Dick Adler

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Praise for CROSSROAD BLUES:

"CROSSROAD BLUES sings. It proves that big guys can write, and that Ace Atkins can write better than most." --Robert B. Parker, author of SUDDEN MISCHIEF and SMALL VICES

"CROSSROAD BLUES is like a classic song--the right feeling, the right note, at the right time." --B.B. King, Blues Legend and author of BLUES ALL AROUND ME

"Ace Atkins comes roaring out of the starting blocks with a fast, funny, suspenseful first novel that has it all--wild characters, wonderful locale, great writing, and a tough and revealing look at the legacy of one of the great blues musicians of all time. On every page of this fine novel is another gem--an unforgettable character, a dandy passage of dialogue, another startling plot twist. If you're smart, you'll buy three copies of this book--one to read, one for a friend, and one to store away in a plastic bag. Ace Atkins is a writer with a brilliant future." --James W. Hall, author of UNDER COVER OF DAYLIGHT, RED SKY, and BODY LANGUAGE

"Nick Travers is the best mystery character I've ever met. He's tough, he's cool, and he's funny as hell. When you finish this book, I guarantee you'll be like me: you'll want more. Ace Atkins's writing is so palpable that the big boys of mystery like Leonard, Burke, Ellroy, and Hall are going to have to make some room at the top." --Tim Green, author of THE DARK SIDE OF THE GAME and THE RED ZONE

"Ace Atkins skillfully interweaves two mysteries: the case that sends Nick Travers to the Delta and the inexplicable staying power of a music made long ago by men already forgotten in their own day." --Francis Davis, author of THE HISTORY OF BLUES and BEBOP AND NOTHINGNESS

"Ace Atkins takes us to the dark side of the American moon in CROSSROAD BLUES, a novel set in the dusky midnight world of street freaks, hustlers, roadhouses, and the bubbling cauldron of southern-fried intrigue. You'll love Jesse Garon, a nasty little Elvis clone who'll leave you 'all shook up' before the end of the book." --W.L. Ripley, author of STORM FRONT and ELECTRIC COUNTRY ROULETTE

"If Raymond Chandler came from the South, his name would be Ace Atkins." --Kinky Friedman, author of BLAST FROM THE PAST and ELVIS, JESUS AND COCA-COLA

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

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