Thursday, November 10, 2011


My mother used the memory device of "M, I, crooked letter crooked letter I, crooked letter crooked letter I, humpback humpback I" to spell Mississippi, so as soon as I saw the title of Tom Franklin's 2010 mystery, I knew something about it. And I waited until I wouldn't be rushed in reading it, remembering the slow relentless power of the Mississippi landscape, weather, and people. Most recently, the book won the CWA (Crime Writers Association) Gold Dagger Award in October.

CROOKED LETTER, CROOKED LETTER captures all of that. Although it's tucked into the mystery shelves for the crimes that open the book -- abductions, presumed murders, of two local girls, and a local constable hoping to find clues toward solving them -- count this as a deep and resonant novel, well outside the usual heart of the genre. And yet it's comparable to John Hart's Down River, which Dave and I have shelved among our mysteries. But it's also close in some ways to that great classic, Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy.

Take a look at the author's page provided by HarperCollins; and here's a good review by the Washington Post. Enough said. Well worth reading.

1 comment:

UK said...

The story is a little predictable, but the author's talent for painting pictures draws you into the story. You feel like you are there in Southern Mississippi and you can see, smell, hear, and taste everything the author describes. The characters are fleshed out perfectly and you become attached to each of them in different ways. Despite being slightly predictable, the author's talent is something to behold. I highly recommend taking the time to read this one!