Most readers will find an unfamiliar world and vocabulary in Ricky Bush's mystery, River Bottom Blues. Stick with it. The world of blues music sucks you into this compelling story of a former reporter looking into the deaths of blues harmonica players.
Chicago in 1964 was part of the blues circuit, but the unsolved murders of blues harmonica musicians didn't arouse much attention. Their lives, with the traveling, the liquor, and the drugs, often led to violent death. But, when Mitty Andersen heard of the death of Bobby T in Houston in 2009, it was a different matter. Mitty had left the newspaper three years earlier. He had been an investigative reporter, but he covered the blues music scene for years, and he didn't accept that Bobby T had died of a heroin overdose. Mitty, like Bobby T, played blues harmonica. And, he knew Bobby T didn't shoot heroin.
It took Bobby Tarleton's widow and an ex-con to push Mitty into an investigation of his own. The Wizard, Michael Melton, was a guitarist who ended up in prison for killing a harmonica player, "a harp player", in Dallas. He claimed he didn't do it, and, after he was released, he showed up at Bobby T's funeral. When Mitty tracked him down, he heard a weird story about someone who had been killing harp players for years, someone who was killing "those who play the devil's music". And, determined to find Bobby T's killer, Mitty falls in with The Wizard's mad scheme to draw out the killer, with a traveling blues band and Mitty on harmonica.
Ricky Bush takes readers on a wild ride filled with music and legendary musicians in River Bottom Blues. If you just let go, you'll be swept up in the stories and the atmosphere. It's a story filled with violence, but it reflects the life of blues musicians. Former journalist Mitty Andersen is the perfect narrator for this glimpse into the blues circuit. River Bottom Blues is a crime novel, but, first, it's an atmospheric piece filled with a love of blues music.
(Note: I don't own any blues music, but DirecTV has a blues station on their music collection. Perfect background for reading River Bottom Blues.)
I have been a library manager/administrator for over 30 years, in Ohio, Florida, Arizona, and, now, Indiana. Winner of the 2011 Arizona Library Association Outstanding Library Service Award. I am a contributing Book Reviewer for Library Journal, Mystery Readers Journal, ReadertoReader.com and VibrantNation.com. Winner of the 2009 and 2010 Spinetingler Awards for Best Reviewer. First Fan Guest of Honor for Desert Sleuths Chapter of Sisters in Crime, Write Now! Conference.
It's an honor to be asked to review books, and I'm grateful to all the publishers, publicists, and authors who send me books. Thank you. Reviews will appear on my blog if I've had a chance to read, and finish, the book. If I do not finish a book, I won't review it, and I will not respond to emails asking when, or if, I'll be reviewing a book.
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Splish, Splash, Splosh!: David Melling
Book: Splish, Splash, Splosh! Author: David Melling (@DavidMelling1) Pages: 22 Age Range: 2-5 Splish, Splash, Splosh! by David Melling is a medium-sized boar...
My Oct. 19, 2009 blog provides full disclosure that I only receive review copies of books, with no other compensation. All review copies are marked as such. If there any any questions, please feel free to contact me.