Friday, July 18, 2008

Friday's "Forgotten" Books - A Dangerous Road

It's hard to believe it's been eight years since Kris Nelscott's A Dangerous Road was published. This first book in the Smokey Dalton mystery series was nominated for an Edgar for Best Mystery Novel. It had an unusual main character, a fascinating storyline, and it made a terrific book discussion book.

The book is set in Memphis, Tennessee in 1968. The sanitation workers' strike has been going on for almost three weeks at the start of the book. Race relations are getting worse, and marches are becoming riots.

Dalton is an African-American P.I., hired by a young white woman to learn why her mother remembered Smokey in her will. He uncovers a thirty-year-old secret that will shake up his life.

But, it can't shake up his life more than the events that surround Memphis as Dalton's old friend, Martin Luther King, Jr., returns to town to assist with the strikes. The world will soon change for Dalton, and the country.

When I made this book a book discussion group for Black History Month for a group of white women in Florida, they thought it was an unlikely choice. However, A Dangerous Road was one of my better choices, leading to a good discussion, as we all looked back at 1968, and the repercussions in our hometowns. Since most of us were in the Midwest in 1968, we had some interesting stories.

Kris Nelscott's A Dangerous Road really shouldn't be on a list of "Forgotten" books.

Kris Nelscott's website is www.kriswrites.com

A Dangerous Road by Kris Nelscott. St. Martin's Minotaur, ©2000, ISBN 0-312-26264-7 (hardcover), 325p.

10 comments:

Kay said...

Hey Lesa, good to be commenting on your blog again. I had not ever heard of this book but immediately placed it on hold at the library. It sounds quite interesting and I'm reading a lot right now while I'm at home recovering. That is going very well by the way. I'll be off work for another 4-5 weeks and intend to win the Staff Summer Reading Program. Ha!

pattinase (abbott) said...

So many of them deserve to be remembered. I'm always relieved when I see my local library still has them. At least they're still keeping the faith.

Lesa said...

Hi Kay!

I'm glad you're doing OK in the recovery process. You go for it in that contest! No reason you shouldn't win! (grin)

Lesa said...

My branch doesn't have this one, Patti, but our Main Library did. Like you, I'm always happy to see that someone in the system still has it.

David Cranmer said...

I'm glad you brought this to my attention. Sounds like a unique plot... another one to add to my never ending list of books to read.

Lesa said...

And, if you like this one, David, another series to add to your never ending TBR pile.

pattinase (abbott) said...

It also occurred to me that you might mention your blog is participating with many others very Fridays, all of them listed on mine. That way they may pick up the whole project.

Lesa said...

I'll be glad to do that next Friday, Patti. Thanks!

pattinase (abbott) said...

Thanks, Lesa. Holy cow did you ever read up a storm this weekend. You put the rest of us to shame.

Lesa said...

No, no, Patti! That was the entire week, not the weekend. I'm not that good!