Leavin' Trunk Blues by Ace Atkins
(Nick Travers Mysteries)

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It's been a year since Nick Traver's search for the lost recording of blues phantom Robert Johnson in Crossroad Blues. He has grown comfortable playing his harp at JoJo's in the French Quarter and teaching blues history at Tulane. A difficult case was the last thing on the blues tracker's mind.

When new details on the mysterious death of a blues record producer surface from a legendary guitarist over a bottle of Crown Royal, Nick becomes intrigued. In 1959, Billy Lyons' body was found stabbed with an ice pick and floating in Lake Michigan. His lover, a blues singer named Ruby Walker, was sentenced to life in prison for the murder. But even after Ruby was sentenced, rumors emerged of a gambling debt to the black mafia or a possible hit called by Lyons' partner, Moses Jordan, who moved on to immortality with another label.

After arriving at Chicago's Union Station, Travers learns there are still those who'd like Billy Lyons' murder to remain unsolved. He soon has fresh blood splattered on his boots and he's running in the blackened snow from a rogues gallery of killers that include a 6-foot-5, 300 pound breathing ball of hate named Stagger Lee Jordan and a beautiful pair of sociopaths--Butcher Knife-Totin' Annie and Fast-Lovin' Fannie--two women with respective talents for love and death.

His quest for Lyons' killer retraces the route of the Delta greats during the Great Migration of blacks after World War II. From the historic Maxwell Street Market to the South Side's Checkerboard Lounge, take a hint from Robert Johnson when he sang, "C'mon. Baby don't you want to go. Back to that same old place--My Sweet Home Chicago."

About Ace Atkins

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Ace Atkins is the author of several novels, including The Lost Ones and Lullaby (G.P. Putnam's Sons May 2012). Atkins is a former journalist who earned a Pulitzer Prize nomination for a feature series based on his investigation into a forgotten murder of the 1950s. The story became the core of his critically acclaimed novel, White Shadow. In 2011 he was selected by the Robert B. Parker estate to continue the bestselling adventures of Boston's iconic private eye, Spenser. He made The New York Times Best Seller List in 2013 with his title, Robert B. Parker's Wonderland.
Published January 9, 2012 by Carrefour Ltd.. 317 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Crime. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Leavin' Trunk Blues

Publishers Weekly

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Nick Travers has it all: enough money left from his days as a professional football player to live in a converted New Orleans warehouse and a job--teaching the history of the blues at Tulane--that lets him sit in atmospheric bars like JoJo's (a ""darkened cave of happiness"") listening to his fav...

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Reviewing the Evidence

Blues historian Nick Travers travels to Chicago to interview Ruby Walker, a 1950s blues singer who's been in prison for 40 years, convicted of a murder that she says she didn't commit.

| Read Full Review of Leavin' Trunk Blues (Nick Tra...

Austin Chronicle

While Barrett Raines is a black cop crime-fighting in a mostly white world, Leavin' Trunk Blues places white blues scholar-cum-detective Nick Travers smack dab in the middle of Chicago's black and blues community.

Jun 30 2000 | Read Full Review of Leavin' Trunk Blues (Nick Tra...

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