Wednesday, November 2, 2016
60. Blackman's Coffin by Mark de Castrique
2008 Poisoned Pen Press
Adult Murder Mystery
Goodreads rating: 3.94 - 545 ratings
My rating: 4 - I liked it a whole lot
Setting: Contemporary Asheville, North Carolina (with forays back to 1919 via a journal)
First line/s: "I felt a hand on my shoulder, shaking me awake. 'Now you can pass as a local. They've all got one leg shorter than the other. Comes from being raised on the side of a mountain.'"
My comments: This was one of the first purchases I made when I started using Bookbub, which has introduced me to all sorts of authors that I've never heard of before. I definitely liked Sam Blackman and his investigative prowess. He has lost much of a leg serving in Iraq, and we meet him while he is ending his rehabilitation in Asheville, North Carolina. I've been to Asheville several times and have extremely fond memories - of traversing onto and off the Blue Ridge Parkway, of visiting the Biltmore Estate, and of poking around. I got to do more poking around while reading this book - the setting of Asheville takes a front seat, as does the writing of Thomas Wolfe and great history of the early 20th century including geology and gem-mining. Excellent mystery. I'm hoping the setting stays in Asheville, I look forward to more books in the series.
Goodreads synopsis: What's really hidden beneath Asheville's rich history? Sam Blackman is an angry man. (NOTE from Muddy Puddle: I didn't consider Sam Blackman an angry man at all...) A Chief Warrant Officer in the Criminal Investigation Detachment of the U.S. military, he lost a leg in Iraq. His outspoken criticism of his medical treatment resulted in his transfer to the Veteran's Hospital in Asheville, NC. Then an ex-marine and fellow amputee named Tikima Robertson walks into his hospital room.Tikima hints that she has an opportunity for Sam to use his investigative skills--if he can stop feeling sorry for himself. But before she can return, Tikima is murdered, her body found floating in the river. Tikima's sister, Nakayla, brings Sam a journal she finds in Tikima's apartment. The volume dates to 1919 and contains the entries of a twelve-year-old boy who accompanies his father, a white funeral director, as they help a black man, Elijah Robertson, transport his deceased relative to a small family plot in Georgia. Nearly ninety years ago, Elijah's body was found in the French Broad River, a crime foreshadowing the death of his great-great granddaughter--Tikima's.Sam and Nakayla must devle into Asheville's rich history, the legacy of the Vanderbilts at the Biltmore estate and of author Tom Wolfe, to uncover the murderous truth. Blackman's Coffin starts a new series by Mark de Castrique, author of the critically-acclaimed Buryin' Barry Mysteries.