Daddy's Gone A-Hunting: A Wesley Farrell Novel (Wesley Farrell Novels)

Skinner, Robert

Published by Poisoned Pen Press, 1999
ISBN 10: 1890208175 / ISBN 13: 9781890208172
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Synopsis: It's 1938 in New Orleans when Ernie LeDoux is released from Angola after serving a 10-year stretch for knocking over an armored truck. And the first thing on his mind is the $75,000 that he has stashed away with an old friend. It is also on the mind of one of the Crescent City's most hardened criminals: Archie Badeaux, a cocaine-snorting socio­path and hired muscle for wheelchair-ridden underworld leader Jonathan Lincoln. Badeaux hasn't forgotten the decade-old heist and aims to follow the ex-convict to the hidden cache. Unfortunately, LeDoux's friend has recently passed away, taking the money's whereabouts with him to the grave. Nightclub owner Wesley Farrell (first introduced in 1997's Anthony-nominated Skin Deep, Blood Red), is a mixed-blood creole "living as a white man in a Jim Crow environment." When Carol Donovan-a fellow club owner whose looks are "enough to make a Baptist minister drink swamp water, crawl inside a hollow log, and bay at the moon"-appears in his office, Farrell is unknowingly swept into LeDoux's story.

Review: "Jazz is cool. Jazz never sacrifices its identity even when incorporating whatever is interesting and timely. Jazz's defining characteristic is improvisation, often collective improvisation. Jazz is considered by many to be America's greatest contribution to music, its mother the grand city of New Orleans, its DNA the experiences of early African Americans in formidable times and frustrating situations. Jazz begins, like most music, with a set of notes or riffs, short rhythmic, melodic lines either repeated to create a main melody or used as the impetus for solos. Jazz continues with a series of improvisations and innovations (jazz for mistakes), exploring and embellishing seemingly effortlessly as the piece evolves.
Skinner is cool. He's written jazz. More impressive, he's written jazz as a mystery novel, though in truth the two might go hand in hand. The exact origins of jazz, even its name, are as much a mystery as where ex-con Ernie LeDoux's money is, why prominent black men are

""Jazz is cool. Jazz never sacrifices its identity even when incorporating whatever is interesting and timely. Jazz's defining characteristic is improvisation, often collective improvisation. Jazz is considered by many to be America's greatest contribution to music, its mother the grand city of New Orleans, its DNA the experiences of early African Americans in formidable times and frustrating situations. Jazz begins, like most music, with a set of notes or riffs, short rhythmic, melodic lines either repeated to create a main melody or used as the impetus for solos. Jazz continues with a series of improvisations and innovations (jazz for mistakes), exploring and embellishing seemingly effortlessly as the piece evolves.
Skinner is cool. He's written jazz. More impressive, he's written jazz as a mystery novel, though in truth the two might go hand in hand. The exact origins of jazz, even its name, are as much a mystery as where ex-con Ernie LeDoux's money is, why prominent black men are the victims of foul play in Depression-era New Orleans, and what ex-prostitute Carol Donovan is up to at the Original Southport Club.
In the early part of the century jazz stretched to cities like Chicago where it evolved in harmony with the Windy City's character, singling out instruments more, such as the saxophone. In New Orleans, jazz remained collective, yet allowed for individuality. It's apt then that Skinner begins his great jazz performance with a collection of characters, each a distinct set of notes, warming up slowly, growing more complex with each measure. He plays each character's riff for three, four, five pages at a time. The pace meanders, is tentative. Where will the notes lead?Skinner teases the audience. Characters make impromptu decisions, improvise, fascinate. Skinner seduces his audience into subliminal swaying to a subtle rhythm. It's steady, sultry, and progressive: Wesley Farrell, night club owner, questions threats made to Carol and her club, Sergeant Israel Daggett investigates the murders, Ralph Daniels runs for his life, Savannah (Wesley's ex-girlfriend) attempts to begin her life anew, cocaine sniffing Archie Badeaux bullies, beats and kills people, humoring his boss, wheelchair-bound gangster Jonathan Lincoln. With every scene, Skinner writes characters' lives and the atmosphere of 1930s New Orleans in clear, sharp, often haunting, sometimes plaintive tones.
Describing a pop song is easy: three major chords, 4/4 time, upbeat tempo, two stanzas, AB rhyme pattern, and a catchy chorus. Describing jazz? Not so easy. Describing the plot of a formula mystery novel is easy. Describing Skinner's plot? Not so easy. What's a reviewer to do? Stand up and give a hearty applause. This novel is great jazz, a collective set of stories, each taking its leisurely turn unfolding to a complete and satisfying end, one which may be traced backward or forward to discern a neat linear path, but one which is richer for not doing so.
Skinner has written an impressive piece, and if you're not convinced, imagine these words issuing from a saxophone: A beautiful Negro woman of about thirty came though the doors of the Cafe Tristesse like she owned the joint. She was five-and-a-half feet tall, with skin so pale brown it was no darker than a suntan, shoulder-length jet black hair, and eyes like obsidian. The only makeup on her fine-featured face was lip rouge the colorof ripe plums. Dressed in a pale yellow dress, yellow sling-back pumps, and a yellow hat that was like gold ornamentation on a queen, she was enough to make a Baptist minister drink swamp water, crawl inside a hollow log, and bay at the moon.-- Reviewed by Jean Porath at MysteryNet.com) 1999""

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Title: Daddy's Gone A-Hunting: A Wesley Farrell ...
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Publication Date: 1999
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: As New
Edition: 1st Edition

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