For some reason I am in a great minority here. Most mystery/music-lovers seem to love it; I found it a bit tedious. Maybe good for reading on a bus or subway, where you can pick it up and put it down.
I love the blues and its roots, and I love mysteries, so I LOVED THIS BOOK! It's written in a style that creates an atmosphere of steamy New Orleans and gritty Chicago with vivid, sensual writing.
This is Ace Atkins' 2nd Nick Travers mystery, the 1st being CROSSROAD BLUES.
Ace Atkins is on my must read list.
Nick Travers, pro footballer turned academic, is back for his second riff as the blues historian with dynamite in his fists. This time out he leaves his Tulane University home base en route for Chicago to interview legendary songbird Ruby Walker (the Sweet Black Angel), who some think topped even Bessie Smith as the greatest blues lady of them all. Nick won't have any trouble locating her, he knows, since for the past 40 years she's bunked in an Illinois state prison. Convicted of murdering her manager/lover, downtrodden Ruby has been virtually sphinxlike while serving a life sentence--no interviews, almost no communication with anyone. But much to Nick's surprise she's expressed a desire to see him. She wants more than that, he soon learns: she wants him to put on his Sherlock cap and prove her innocence.