Poisoned Pen Press, Hardcover, 9781590585177, 255pp.
Publication Date: June 10, 2008
What's really hidden beneath Asheville's rich history? Sam Blackman is an angry man. 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.
*STARRED REVIEW* “A wealth of historical detail, an exciting treasure hunt and credible characters distinguish this fresh, adventurous read.” –Publishers Weekly of Blackman’s Coffin *STARRED REVIEW* “Known for his effortless storytelling, de Castrique once again delivers a compelling tale blending fact and fiction….” –Library Journal of Blackman’s Coffin “In the struggling Sam Blackman, de Castrique (Final Undertaking, 2007, etc.) has created a compelling hero whose flinty first-person narrative nicely complements Henderson's earnest, measured and equally involving account.” –Kirkus Reviews of Blackman’s Coffin