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After a New Orleans college professor goes missing while searching for the rumored lost recordings of bluesman Robert Johnson--who, as legend has it, sold his soul to the devil at a Mississippi crossroads--Nick Travers is sent to find him. Clues point to everyone from an eccentric albino named Cracker to a hitman who believes he is the second coming of Elvis Presley. From t After a New Orleans college professor goes missing while searching for the rumored lost recordings of bluesman Robert Johnson--who, as legend has it, sold his soul to the devil at a Mississippi crossroads--Nick Travers is sent to find him. Clues point to everyone from an eccentric albino named Cracker to a hitman who believes he is the second coming of Elvis Presley. From the Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist turned New York Times Bestselling author, ACE ATKINS, and artist MARCO FINNEGAN, comes a thrilling tale of crime and mystery that brings the history of the Blues and the Mississippi Delta to life on every page. 6 x 9 trade paperback trim size.


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After a New Orleans college professor goes missing while searching for the rumored lost recordings of bluesman Robert Johnson--who, as legend has it, sold his soul to the devil at a Mississippi crossroads--Nick Travers is sent to find him. Clues point to everyone from an eccentric albino named Cracker to a hitman who believes he is the second coming of Elvis Presley. From t After a New Orleans college professor goes missing while searching for the rumored lost recordings of bluesman Robert Johnson--who, as legend has it, sold his soul to the devil at a Mississippi crossroads--Nick Travers is sent to find him. Clues point to everyone from an eccentric albino named Cracker to a hitman who believes he is the second coming of Elvis Presley. From the Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist turned New York Times Bestselling author, ACE ATKINS, and artist MARCO FINNEGAN, comes a thrilling tale of crime and mystery that brings the history of the Blues and the Mississippi Delta to life on every page. 6 x 9 trade paperback trim size.

30 review for Crossroad Blues: A Nick Travers Graphic Novel

  1. 5 out of 5

    Chad

    A liked the premise and setting. The MacGuffin everyone is hunting for is some lost records of the famous blues singer Robert Johnson. However, the art was really poor. I had a really difficult time telling characters apart and following the plot.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lesley

    This book completely divided my book group, more so than I have ever seen before. Half of my group loved it and the other half hated it so much they didn't finish it and hardly wanted to discuss it. I was part of the group that enjoyed it, I would give it about 3.5 stars. It took me a while to get into the story and figure out who everyone was but once I did that I really enjoyed the characters and the story. What I think made the story even more enjoyable was the fact that much of it was based This book completely divided my book group, more so than I have ever seen before. Half of my group loved it and the other half hated it so much they didn't finish it and hardly wanted to discuss it. I was part of the group that enjoyed it, I would give it about 3.5 stars. It took me a while to get into the story and figure out who everyone was but once I did that I really enjoyed the characters and the story. What I think made the story even more enjoyable was the fact that much of it was based on a true story. Being able to go back and listen to the Robert Johnson song Crossroad Blues and know his myth was true made it that much more interesting to me. I also liked a lot of the imagery Ace Atkins used and some of the eccentric characters. Not sure if I will read the others in the series, but I think this really fit in well for our summer reading music theme and was something completely different than what we have read before.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lee

    This was one of the best debut novels I've read. Nick Travers is one of the best mystery characters, I've come across. Cool,tough,funny...and knows his blues. A former pro football player, that now happens to teach Histoty of Blues at Tulane. With Atkins' research into blues history and the the mystery that surrounds Robert Johnson. The '30's blues legend. With the Delta landscape as a backdrop, the talk of the 'ol timers...you could hear the slide guitar and harp in the background. To quote Kink This was one of the best debut novels I've read. Nick Travers is one of the best mystery characters, I've come across. Cool,tough,funny...and knows his blues. A former pro football player, that now happens to teach Histoty of Blues at Tulane. With Atkins' research into blues history and the the mystery that surrounds Robert Johnson. The '30's blues legend. With the Delta landscape as a backdrop, the talk of the 'ol timers...you could hear the slide guitar and harp in the background. To quote Kinky Friedman, "If Raymond Chandler came from the south his name would be Ace Atkins."

  4. 5 out of 5

    Nicola Mansfield

    A crime noir graphic novel based on the novel of the same name. I haven't read the novels so can't compare but I enjoyed this southern crime quite a lot. It's not terribly complicated as far as mysteries go but it has a lot going for it. It switches from the present to 1938 as Travers gets involved with criminals looking for the secret stash of someone mysteriously killed. Set in New Orleans, it is very atmospheric and concentrates on blues from the early days. Done in a raw black and white styl A crime noir graphic novel based on the novel of the same name. I haven't read the novels so can't compare but I enjoyed this southern crime quite a lot. It's not terribly complicated as far as mysteries go but it has a lot going for it. It switches from the present to 1938 as Travers gets involved with criminals looking for the secret stash of someone mysteriously killed. Set in New Orleans, it is very atmospheric and concentrates on blues from the early days. Done in a raw black and white style, the illustration much enhances the story.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Theresa

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. While I read this, I realized I knew basicaly nothing about the Blues, the history, those who made the music, those who chase after the music now, the legends. After reading this superb noir detective story, I know a bit more, but I also now know what an incredible setting the Blues makes for contemporary American noir. It was a baring of the soul that chafed a man's spirit raw, a deceitful woman, being broke, and a painful loneliness of a man living in sensory deprivation, cut off from sound an While I read this, I realized I knew basicaly nothing about the Blues, the history, those who made the music, those who chase after the music now, the legends. After reading this superb noir detective story, I know a bit more, but I also now know what an incredible setting the Blues makes for contemporary American noir. It was a baring of the soul that chafed a man's spirit raw, a deceitful woman, being broke, and a painful loneliness of a man living in sensory deprivation, cut off from sound and human contact Nick Travers walked away from a pro career with the Saints and settled into a somewhat aimless life, hanging out in JoJo's Blues Bar while researching and writing about blues legends, and occasionally teaching a course on the history of blues at Tulane. You get very much a sense that Nick is a bit of a dabbler, a bit rootless, holding the world a little bit at a distance. He's a loner. The Blues is predominantly a black community, and Nick is a white man on the fringes who seems to have been accepted into that world, especially in the jukes and back roads of the Delta, the birthplace of the Blues. And the Delta is where a Tulane colleague disappears while researching Robert Johnson, his death in 1938, and a legendary set of recordings that Johnson is rumored to have made just before his death, unheard by anyone. While looking for his colleague, Nick himself becomes engrossed in the the stories and legends surrounding Robert Johnson and these mystery recordings. This is noir, so violence, death, hot women, hot music, dark and dingy bars, follow as Nick takes us from New Orleans to the Delta and back as he peels back the lies and legends to the real story. For the reader, it's less about following the clues and solving the mystery than it is sinking into the journey and experiencing the rich dark world presented here. At one point, Nick talks about a moment when he's sitting in front of the Tutwiler Murals (which actually exist): ...when the blues began to make sense. He could almost feel the early part of the century in a nowhere Mississippi town. Something clicked. It wasn't just the oppression. As a white man born in the sixties, there was no feasible way to understand that. It was the loneliness and the isolation in the center of the fertile region. This is a debut and the first in a series of noir detective novels featuring Nick Travers. It is also an hommage to Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon, and a well-done one at that. There is some stunning writing here from the very beginning: On the way, mottled shadow patterns of oak leaves fell over him like jigsaws. Many of the locations, stories, and Blues musicians are real, including Robert Johnson. Here's a recording of Johnson singing Crossroad's Blues which provides ambience and a title to this excellent noir: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yd60n.... Initially I had some trouble keeping track of characters and story although that is likely because I had little time to read initially. This is a book to lose yourself in and devour, not read over several days. I read the 10th Anniversary edition which has a superb Afterward by Greil Marcus which provided additional information on Robert Johnson and his music.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)

    The description makes this graphic novel sound like it was made for me. A mystery surrounding the death of blues legend Robert Johnson?! A search for lost recordings by the man who supposedly sold his soul to the devil at a Mississippi crossroads?! Um, yes please! Unfortunately, this graphic novel didn't live up to my expectations. The narrative was too quick with very little development and jumped around too much. There was no real build up or mystery to solve so while the premise is exciting, t The description makes this graphic novel sound like it was made for me. A mystery surrounding the death of blues legend Robert Johnson?! A search for lost recordings by the man who supposedly sold his soul to the devil at a Mississippi crossroads?! Um, yes please! Unfortunately, this graphic novel didn't live up to my expectations. The narrative was too quick with very little development and jumped around too much. There was no real build up or mystery to solve so while the premise is exciting, this story fell flat.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia

    You'll definitely get a deep South vibe with this one. It is hot and steamy and ripples with prejudice and unrest. The mystery is multi-layered and the characters are both eccentric and likeable. I found the ending to be very satisfying and I look forward to more from this author. You'll definitely get a deep South vibe with this one. It is hot and steamy and ripples with prejudice and unrest. The mystery is multi-layered and the characters are both eccentric and likeable. I found the ending to be very satisfying and I look forward to more from this author.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Maynard

    If you love music, especially the Blues, this book is for you. Ace Atkins centers his story on the mystery surrounding Blues legend Robert Johnson's death. It is is great ride through Louisiana and Mississippi, as clues slowly fall into place. A great read! If you love music, especially the Blues, this book is for you. Ace Atkins centers his story on the mystery surrounding Blues legend Robert Johnson's death. It is is great ride through Louisiana and Mississippi, as clues slowly fall into place. A great read!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Joyce

    This was Ace Atkins' first novel and is a great read. Nick Travers is a Music Historian at Tulane and is investigating the disappearance of another Tulane Professor who was looking for information about along dead Blues Musician. It takes you into both Mississippi and New Orleans. The action, and background, are enticing and catch your interest immediately. This is well worth reading and will only make you want to read more of Atkins' fiction. This was Ace Atkins' first novel and is a great read. Nick Travers is a Music Historian at Tulane and is investigating the disappearance of another Tulane Professor who was looking for information about along dead Blues Musician. It takes you into both Mississippi and New Orleans. The action, and background, are enticing and catch your interest immediately. This is well worth reading and will only make you want to read more of Atkins' fiction.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    I was excited to see a graphic novel about Robert Johnson, but I was underwhelmed. It was definitely a white man's action fantasy. The white male protagonist is a blues historian, but he solves mysteries and fights crime. He is totally not like the other white guys and totally accepted by the black Mississippi Delta community, which has no women, except one young white woman who shows up to sleep with the protagonist and be a pawn in a climactic exchange. I was excited to see a graphic novel about Robert Johnson, but I was underwhelmed. It was definitely a white man's action fantasy. The white male protagonist is a blues historian, but he solves mysteries and fights crime. He is totally not like the other white guys and totally accepted by the black Mississippi Delta community, which has no women, except one young white woman who shows up to sleep with the protagonist and be a pawn in a climactic exchange.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    This caught my eye on the library shelf. It was an OK story, but I felt it was pretty thin and that something was missing. Afterwards, I realized it was a graphic novel adaptation. I would probably have liked the full novel better, might seek it out (or others in the series) although crime/mystery novels aren't usually my favorite; the blues and delta history aspect was intriguing. This caught my eye on the library shelf. It was an OK story, but I felt it was pretty thin and that something was missing. Afterwards, I realized it was a graphic novel adaptation. I would probably have liked the full novel better, might seek it out (or others in the series) although crime/mystery novels aren't usually my favorite; the blues and delta history aspect was intriguing.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Maxine

    Cross Road Blues (also known as “Crossroads”) is a blues song written and recorded by American blues artist Robert Johnson in 1936…The song has become part of the Robert Johnson mythology as referring to the place where he supposedly sold his soul to the Devil in exchange for his musical talents... -Wikipedia A New Orleans college professor has gone missing in Mississippi while searching for the rumored unreleased recordings of blues legend Robert Johnson. Now Nick Travers has been sent to find ou Cross Road Blues (also known as “Crossroads”) is a blues song written and recorded by American blues artist Robert Johnson in 1936…The song has become part of the Robert Johnson mythology as referring to the place where he supposedly sold his soul to the Devil in exchange for his musical talents... -Wikipedia A New Orleans college professor has gone missing in Mississippi while searching for the rumored unreleased recordings of blues legend Robert Johnson. Now Nick Travers has been sent to find out what happened to him. As he investigates, he becomes involved with the even bigger question, one that has intrigued music historians for decades – what really happened to Johnson? But the deeper Travers delves into both these mysteries, the more he realizes there is a great deal more at stake than he thought. Travers discovers that the professor is not the only one searching for the recordings including an albino named Cracker and a hitman who styles himself as the next Elvis and Travers soon finds himself in a whole lot of hot water and I don’t mean the rain that never seems to let up. Crossroads Blues: A Nick Travers Graphic novel is based on the original novel, Crossroad Blues by writer Ace Atkins who also wrote this graphic novel. It is released by Image Comics. It has a strong feel of a noir crime story, helped along by the black and white graphics by Marco Finnegan. I have not read the original novel so I can’t compare the two but it works very well in this format. It is dark and atmospheric with its gritty settings, mostly one-dimensional characters who are the embodiment of moral ambiguity, and no sense that it will end happily for anyone. A great read for fans of the genre. Thanks to Edelweiss+ and Image Comics for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review

  13. 4 out of 5

    Maddy

    Robert Johnson was a legendary blues figure who died under mysterious circumstances when he was 27. Music historians have always tried to figure out what happened. It appears that one of the music professors at Tulane University, Michael Baker, was chasing down a new lead in the Mississippi Delta. When he doesn’t return, one of the other professors, Dr. Randy Sexton, asks blues tracker Nick Travers to go and see if he can find out what happened. Baker was indeed hot on the trail of some rumored u Robert Johnson was a legendary blues figure who died under mysterious circumstances when he was 27. Music historians have always tried to figure out what happened. It appears that one of the music professors at Tulane University, Michael Baker, was chasing down a new lead in the Mississippi Delta. When he doesn’t return, one of the other professors, Dr. Randy Sexton, asks blues tracker Nick Travers to go and see if he can find out what happened. Baker was indeed hot on the trail of some rumored unreleased recordings that were made prior to Johnson’s death. They are in the hands of an old albino man, which makes him a target for several other people who want these priceless recordings. Among them is Pascal Cruz who owns a commercial venture in New Orleans that appeals to tourists called “Blues Shack’. He’s hired some real dumb thugs to help get the Johnson material, among them a man obsessed with Elvis, Jesse Garon. The characters never really came alive for me, but Atkins’ writing is good, particularly as he paints the local color and describes the old blues scene. The premise of blending fictional characters with a blues legend worked flawlessly. "Jazz was a fluted glass of champagne. Blues was a cold beer. Working-class music.. .It was a bearing of soul, a soul raw from a deceitful woman, being broke, and a painful loneliness of a man living in sensory deprivation."

  14. 4 out of 5

    Victoria Allman

    Crossroad Blues is the story of Nick Travers, an ex-New Orleans Saints player turned blues historian and his search for the lost recordings of Robert Johnson. This fast-paced mystery is a throwback to another era; not only 1938 and the murder of Robert Johnson after he sold his soul to the devil to be able to play the blues, but to an era of hard-boiled mysteries and dialogue that cracks like a whip. Ace Atkins has captured a real sense of place with Crossroad Blues. It is set in both New Orlean Crossroad Blues is the story of Nick Travers, an ex-New Orleans Saints player turned blues historian and his search for the lost recordings of Robert Johnson. This fast-paced mystery is a throwback to another era; not only 1938 and the murder of Robert Johnson after he sold his soul to the devil to be able to play the blues, but to an era of hard-boiled mysteries and dialogue that cracks like a whip. Ace Atkins has captured a real sense of place with Crossroad Blues. It is set in both New Orleans and the Mississippi Delta and each page is flavored with both of these unique and intriguing places. Every chapter reads like a well-researched travelogue through the Delta, blues music, and the gritty vibrations of the French Quarter. The references to blues history are flawless and the feel of the South sizzles throughout the story. Within a few pages, I knew I'd found my favorite new author and can't wait to read more of Nick Travers and Ace Atkins. If you are a lover of noir mysteries and southern literature you will LOVE Crossroad Blues. Victoria Allman author of: SEAsoned: A Chef's Journey with Her Captain

  15. 5 out of 5

    Booknblues

    What would happen if there were nine unknown original recordings of Robert Johnson's work. Would there be intrigue, murder, back-stabbing and plans by glitzy glossy labels to market this work. Well we know stuff would happen and probably some unsavory stuff to help someone make money. This is Ace Atkins' premise. His hero, Nick Travers follows the trail to the Delta to Greenwood where it all began or ended depending on your perspective. Atkins includes all the elements of blues - the glitzy blues What would happen if there were nine unknown original recordings of Robert Johnson's work. Would there be intrigue, murder, back-stabbing and plans by glitzy glossy labels to market this work. Well we know stuff would happen and probably some unsavory stuff to help someone make money. This is Ace Atkins' premise. His hero, Nick Travers follows the trail to the Delta to Greenwood where it all began or ended depending on your perspective. Atkins includes all the elements of blues - the glitzy blues club, The Real Thang in Jojo's, Elvis, a Susan Tedeschi type in Virginia Dare who dares immerse herself in the Delta to develop the real blues feel. Travers' trips to the Delta region does have the blues feel, that kind of eerie, spooky Crossroads mood. All in all a good fast read. It's not perfect. Mystery books aren't classic literature and blues ain't a Shakespeare sonnet. Both good blues and a good mystery should be accessible and entertaining. Crossroad Blues is.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Eleanor

    So many adult people in my universe are big fans of graphic novels. I thought I’d give the format a try when I discovered that one of my favorite author’s first books was being given new life as a graphic novel. I should note that Atkins’ Nick Travers mysteries aren’t ones I’ve read; it’s his Quinn Colson series and the Robert B. Parker Spenser novels that made me a fan. I must admit that I did not find the format satisfying. The story was interesting, and the Robert Johnson legend is always fas So many adult people in my universe are big fans of graphic novels. I thought I’d give the format a try when I discovered that one of my favorite author’s first books was being given new life as a graphic novel. I should note that Atkins’ Nick Travers mysteries aren’t ones I’ve read; it’s his Quinn Colson series and the Robert B. Parker Spenser novels that made me a fan. I must admit that I did not find the format satisfying. The story was interesting, and the Robert Johnson legend is always fascinating, but because I know what a talented writer Atkins is I really missed his narrative and descriptive voice. One thing is certain: I’m going to fill in my Atkins Blank and read the others in this series.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Joshua Rubin

    It is a mistake to use a work of fiction as a platform for minor pet peeves and personal passions. From an overblown reverence for the blues that reaches an embarrassingly sacred level to pretentious disdain for tourists, hipsters, and academics, this book is a bitch session for a schmuck. Oh god, and the character Elvis, and quoting Robert Johnson. I mean, I love Robert Johnson, he is very important to blues, but to quote the following lyrics, "I went down, I went down, I went down to the cross It is a mistake to use a work of fiction as a platform for minor pet peeves and personal passions. From an overblown reverence for the blues that reaches an embarrassingly sacred level to pretentious disdain for tourists, hipsters, and academics, this book is a bitch session for a schmuck. Oh god, and the character Elvis, and quoting Robert Johnson. I mean, I love Robert Johnson, he is very important to blues, but to quote the following lyrics, "I went down, I went down, I went down to the crossroads" is absurd because they are just not at all deep. Mind you, these are not scene setting quotes at the begining of chapters but rather qithin the text. RIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIDICULOUS.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Amber

    This is probably the worst book I've ever read. A down-and-out rake is called by a college professor to investigate the disappearance of a man researching the death/missing songs of a black blues musician from the 1930s. All the jazz/blues "experts" in this story are white. The level of violence is tipped heavily towards the black men. The pacing is horrible to the point you don't know what's going on, who anyone is, or actually what their character is. No character development what so ever. This is probably the worst book I've ever read. A down-and-out rake is called by a college professor to investigate the disappearance of a man researching the death/missing songs of a black blues musician from the 1930s. All the jazz/blues "experts" in this story are white. The level of violence is tipped heavily towards the black men. The pacing is horrible to the point you don't know what's going on, who anyone is, or actually what their character is. No character development what so ever.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    I figured this would be right up my alley. Even geeked and played some RJ on my phone! (a couple books have playlists in the back now, ie Royal City)... zero characterization. Over in about the same time as a single comic book. Not a fan of the art either.

  20. 5 out of 5

    J.C.

    Pretty good little graphic novel using the Robert Johnson mythology for a decent crime story.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Couldn’t get into this, it skipped around a lot and didn’t introduce characters, so I was lost a lot for most of the 25 pages I read. Gave up.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Greg Trosclair

    I have not had the oppurtunity to read any of the Nick Travers stories before. As with Ace Atkins other character, Quinn Colson, NIck Travers is a veteran returned home, in this case New Orleans, where he becomes a detective. He is asked t look into the disappearance of a fellow from the Tulane music department who had gone missing in the Mississippi Delta researching some missing Blues Legend, Robert Johnson, recordings. The chase goes on from there involving an albino, what happened to Johnson I have not had the oppurtunity to read any of the Nick Travers stories before. As with Ace Atkins other character, Quinn Colson, NIck Travers is a veteran returned home, in this case New Orleans, where he becomes a detective. He is asked t look into the disappearance of a fellow from the Tulane music department who had gone missing in the Mississippi Delta researching some missing Blues Legend, Robert Johnson, recordings. The chase goes on from there involving an albino, what happened to Johnson and how he died, an Elvis assassin and battling Blues bars. The story is really good. Sadly this is a graphic novel. I was excited to read an Ace Atkins penned graphic novel. The art in this is not bad, it is terrible. The art is rushed and simplistic. I looked up some of his pther work and it looks good so I am not sure what happened here. Needless to say the bad artwork did not destroy the story. So I gave this 3 stars, 5 stars for the writing and 1 star for the art. I am hoping that the second book, Last Fair Deal Gone Down, is better.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Martin Horner

    I have been looking forward to reading this book for a while as it is the FIRST in the Nick Travers series by Mr. Atkins. I have already read books in the series and was pleased to finally get the chance to read the origins of our main character. As always, Ace Atkins writes strong, intricate and well developed characters in all his novels and Crossroad Blues is no different, The plot has many twists and turns as well as subplots and supporting story driven characters. Yet it is still easy to fo I have been looking forward to reading this book for a while as it is the FIRST in the Nick Travers series by Mr. Atkins. I have already read books in the series and was pleased to finally get the chance to read the origins of our main character. As always, Ace Atkins writes strong, intricate and well developed characters in all his novels and Crossroad Blues is no different, The plot has many twists and turns as well as subplots and supporting story driven characters. Yet it is still easy to follow without the turns being obvious to the reader. The true bonus to this entire series is that Ace Atkins, like his main character, is a true disciple of the Blues genre of Americana music. These novels give him the means to pass along some of the history and complexity of that amazing music phenomenon to his readers. It almost goes without having to say it Mr. Atkins has provided yet another fantastic book for his readers.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Joe Santoro

    Of course if you're going to write a 'Blues Mystery' it's going to be about Robert Johnson. The main character is a strange one... an ex-football player who is also a blues professor at Tulane, who also just happens to be totally at ease with the blues culture of the Mississippi Delta. It's a bit much.. especially when he breaks his arm half way through the book and still wins a bunch of fights afterwards. The story has several people chasing after a 3rd set of Robert Johnson recordings, and the Of course if you're going to write a 'Blues Mystery' it's going to be about Robert Johnson. The main character is a strange one... an ex-football player who is also a blues professor at Tulane, who also just happens to be totally at ease with the blues culture of the Mississippi Delta. It's a bit much.. especially when he breaks his arm half way through the book and still wins a bunch of fights afterwards. The story has several people chasing after a 3rd set of Robert Johnson recordings, and the mystery of his death. There's a fair bit of actual blues history in the book (at least the surface stuff matched what I know), but the rest is just a big convoluted mess of a plot.. maybe the author's favorite Robert Johnson conspiracy? Not the worst mystery I've ever read, but definitely not an author or series I need to revisit.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Dan Smith

    Ace Atkins hits a high note with Nick Travers, mystery fiction's first blues hero. An ex-football pro, Nick's days are now as languid as the Big Easy itself-he teaches the History of Blues at Tulane and occasionally plays the harmonica at JoJo's Blues Bar in the French Quarter. But when a colleague disappears into the Mississippi Delta while researching 1930s blues legend Robert Johnson, Nick's life takes a tailspin. On the trail of the lost professor, Nick also delves into Johnson's mysterious Ace Atkins hits a high note with Nick Travers, mystery fiction's first blues hero. An ex-football pro, Nick's days are now as languid as the Big Easy itself-he teaches the History of Blues at Tulane and occasionally plays the harmonica at JoJo's Blues Bar in the French Quarter. But when a colleague disappears into the Mississippi Delta while researching 1930s blues legend Robert Johnson, Nick's life takes a tailspin. On the trail of the lost professor, Nick also delves into Johnson's mysterious death, and suddenly finds himself with two baffling mysteries on his hands, each more convoluted than the mighty Mississippi

  26. 5 out of 5

    Paul Allard

    Blues-related thriller series – not particularly original plot-wise but still enjoyable This series involves Nick Travers, a blues fan and detective, assigned to find out about Robert Johnson's missing records. The plot involves the usual conflicts and killings from a mystery series with few surprises. The plot is therefore nothing too outstanding and the characters are quite clearly-defined unlike the black-and-white artwork which is not always clear. It's OK as far as it goes but don't expect a Blues-related thriller series – not particularly original plot-wise but still enjoyable This series involves Nick Travers, a blues fan and detective, assigned to find out about Robert Johnson's missing records. The plot involves the usual conflicts and killings from a mystery series with few surprises. The plot is therefore nothing too outstanding and the characters are quite clearly-defined unlike the black-and-white artwork which is not always clear. It's OK as far as it goes but don't expect anything very original.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Charles

    So I guess that when I was teaching at Tulane U, I had chosen the field (French) that kept me way out of the real action, both at school and in New Orleans! So besides not being very convinced by the main character premise (former New Orleans Saint turned University lecturer in folklore turned quasi-private eye), the other odd quirk of this novel is its structure around the murky history of blues master Robert Johnson, and his mythical record production. There is some promise in the main charact So I guess that when I was teaching at Tulane U, I had chosen the field (French) that kept me way out of the real action, both at school and in New Orleans! So besides not being very convinced by the main character premise (former New Orleans Saint turned University lecturer in folklore turned quasi-private eye), the other odd quirk of this novel is its structure around the murky history of blues master Robert Johnson, and his mythical record production. There is some promise in the main character, perhaps, for successive novels in the series, but this one's best trait is its brevity.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Rohan

    Noir thriller set in the American South about a detective hunting down lost musical records made by a blues legend who died young. The art style was confusing and made it difficult for me to tell characters apart. The exposition is minimal. At times I was taken by surprise when I came across a character name. It was a fun quick read, but I had no personal connection to anything in the book, so it didn't resonate with me. Coupled with the general difficulty I had understanding what was going on, Noir thriller set in the American South about a detective hunting down lost musical records made by a blues legend who died young. The art style was confusing and made it difficult for me to tell characters apart. The exposition is minimal. At times I was taken by surprise when I came across a character name. It was a fun quick read, but I had no personal connection to anything in the book, so it didn't resonate with me. Coupled with the general difficulty I had understanding what was going on, I wouldn't recommend it.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Williams

    I enjoyed this one set in the South mainly New Orleans. The first in the Nick Travers series, which I now intend to read the rest of pretty quickly. Loved the back story of the life and death of Robert Johnson, the blues guitarist/singer whose life and death is full of mystery. The characters were all good and the story unfolded towards the finale with a certain inevitability but well done and not easy to see what was coming down the line.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Martin

    I really wanted to like this novel--and this author--but I had a hard time forcing my way through this book. I'm very interested in the subject and the milieu, but the characterizations were completely flat and cliched and the writing did nothing to exploit the "local color" of the New Orleans and Mississippi settings. Very disappointing. I might read Leaving Trunk Blues out of curiosity, but I don't want to pay full price for it, so I'll just wait. I really wanted to like this novel--and this author--but I had a hard time forcing my way through this book. I'm very interested in the subject and the milieu, but the characterizations were completely flat and cliched and the writing did nothing to exploit the "local color" of the New Orleans and Mississippi settings. Very disappointing. I might read Leaving Trunk Blues out of curiosity, but I don't want to pay full price for it, so I'll just wait.

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