First of State (CJ Floyd Series #8)

( 2 )

Overview

Robert Greer’s latest novel—a prequel to his CJ Floyd mystery series—takes readers back in time to a very young CJ Floyd. It’s 1972, and the 22-year-old decorated war vet has recently returned to Denver from Vietnam with post-traumatic stress disorder. Navigating depression, he finds a friend in World War II vet and amputee Wiley Ames, who shares his passion for rare and valuable western memorabilia.

When Ames and a mysterious Chinese man are found murdered, CJ’s already fragile...

See more details below
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (26) from $1.99   
  • New (9) from $8.51   
  • Used (17) from $1.99   
First of State

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$13.99
BN.com price
(Save 43%)$24.95 List Price

Overview

Robert Greer’s latest novel—a prequel to his CJ Floyd mystery series—takes readers back in time to a very young CJ Floyd. It’s 1972, and the 22-year-old decorated war vet has recently returned to Denver from Vietnam with post-traumatic stress disorder. Navigating depression, he finds a friend in World War II vet and amputee Wiley Ames, who shares his passion for rare and valuable western memorabilia.

When Ames and a mysterious Chinese man are found murdered, CJ’s already fragile world threatens to collapse. His attempts to find his friend’s killer are thwarted at every turn, and finally he joins his Uncle Ike’s business as bail bondsman and bounty hunter. Five years later one of Ames’s treasured antique license plates turns up at a Denver flea market, and CJ is once again off and running. The trail to Wiley Ames’s murderer leads CJ down a dark path strewn with backstabbing antique dealers, conniving friends and relatives of Ames’s, and a shadowy musician. Equally a white-knuckle-ride murder mystery and a tale of a traumatized young man coming to terms with his past, First of State features the kind of fresh characters, street-smart dialogue, and ingenious plot twists that have made this series a critical and commercial success.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Greer's engaging eighth mystery to feature black Denver bail bondsman CJ Floyd (after 2008's Blackbird, Farewell), a prequel, reveals much that's new about CJ's background and character. Soon after returning to Denver from two tours of duty in Vietnam in 1971, 20-year-old CJ meets WWII vet Wiley Ames, who, like him, collects old license plates. When Ames is gunned down in an alley, Floyd vows to find his friend's killer. Meanwhile, Floyd's alcoholic uncle, Denver's first black bail bondsman, takes on CJ and teaches him the business. CJ never lets go of the search for Ames's murderer, and his slow, painstaking unraveling of the case over the years mirrors his growth as an investigator. As in Greer's earlier books, the black Five Points neighborhood comes vibrantly alive. This is a must-read for series fans and a great introduction for others. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
"Greer's engaging eighth mystery to feature black Denver bail bondsman CJ Floyd (after 2008's Blackbird, Farewell), a prequel, reveals much that's new about CJ's background and character. Soon after returning to Denver from two tours of duty in Vietnam in 1971, 20-year-old CJ meets WWII vet Wiley Ames, who, like him, collects old license plates. When Ames is gunned down in an alley, Floyd vows to find his friend's killer. Meanwhile, Floyd's alcoholic uncle, Denver's first black bail bondsman, takes on CJ and teaches him the business. CJ never lets go of the search for Ames's murderer, and his slow, painstaking unraveling of the case over the years mirrors his growth as an investigator. As in Greer's earlier books, the black Five Points neighborhood comes vibrantly alive. This is a must-read for series fans and a great introduction for others."
Publishers Weekly

"Filling his intriguing mystery with images of life in an African American neighborhood in the 1970s and details of antiquing and flea market excursions, Greer creates a richly realized setting. This should appeal to followers of the CJ Floyd series and is a good introduction to new readers. It will also attract fans of African American mysteries as well as readers looking for a good mystery with a setting just outside the ordinary."
Library Journal

"CJ Floyd is 22 years old, but he seems much older somehow and certainly more disillusioned than his peers in early-1970s Denver. He finds an emotional anchor and kindred soul in Wiley Ames, a World War II amputee and antique dealer. When Wiley is murdered and his case unsolved, CJ vows to find the killer; in the meantime, he throws himself into his uncle Ike’s bail-bond business, if only to push his painful memories into the shadows. Five years later one of Ames’ most treasured antiques surfaces at a Denver flea market. It’s the thread Floyd needs to unravel the murder. This prequel to Greer’s always thoughtful and multilayered Floyd series reveals the pain behind the protagonist’s curmudgeonly, emotionally guarded personality and his reluctance to employ violence. CJ Floyd is one of crime fiction’s hidden gems, and this is a satisfying entry in a rewarding, underappreciated series.”
Booklist

“Denver-based author Robert Greer's eighth CJ Floyd novel turns back to the clock to the early 1970s, a savvy way to flesh out his signature character. … First of State proves the prequel concept can help extend a franchise and ripen the reader’s understanding of a beloved character.”
The Denver Post

“Time warps in science fiction writing have brought us Back to the Future and its sequels, but rarely do we have a time warp in the form of a prequel of a mystery written by an award-winning author like Robert Greer in First of State … It’s a must read for the person who enjoys a good mystery.”
Kingman Daily Miner
 
"Meet CJ Floyd, a bail bondsman who cracks cases and has a weakness for sweet potato pie. He's one of the colorful heroes of crime fiction, thanks to author Robert Greer."
Gary Post-Tribune

“As a ‘prequel’ to the CJ Floyd series, this book takes readers back to a time when CJ was not sure what he wanted to do with his life, and Greer does a great job evoking the unsure, shaky 1970s and the innocence of the times. … If you’re looking for a whodunit that won’t ruin the surprise with too many clues, try this. If you want a mystery with Western flair, grab this. If you’ve never read the Floyd books, start here. For y’all, First of State holds much promise.”
The Washington Informer
 
“Filled with twists and turns, compelling and likeable characters and a solid plot, First of State is an engaging mystery that will keep you on the edge of your seat…Thumbs up!!”
—Minding Spot

"
Robert Greer has written a great Floyd mystery that fans will thoroughly enjoy."
—Genre Go Round Reviews
 
First of State is a strong addition to the series, one that gives an interesting historical perspective to the character of CJ Floyd but is also, on its own merits, a first rate murder mystery.”
—Mysterious Reviews
 
"Greer's characters—such as fetching Mavis, a Boston college business student being groomed to take over her father's many Five Points businesses, and CJ's best buddy Roosevelt "Rosie" Weeks, a strapping man who runs an independent gas station and garage—are unique and complicated. Many dozens of these characters make appearances in First of State, and leave before the reader is ready to part company with them. It's a good thing for readers like me who are new to the CJ Floyd series that there are seven more books in which to read up on their exploits, and First of State is an excellent place to start."
—Newwest.com
 
“Fast-moving...Readers are introduced to the intriguing world of antique collecting through the passionate appreciation of certain rare license plates which Floyd collects... The story revolves around Floyd's quest to find license plates in mint condition and at the same time attempts to solve several murders...a great gift for the holiday season for the reader who likes a stylish 'Who Done It.’”
—Clark's Eye on Books
 
"The characters were well-developed with colorful personalities...The author did a wonderful job of making the location, Denver, and the time period, the 1970s, an integrated part of the storyline...I recommend this book to mystery readers and readers who enjoy stories with a western locale."
—APOOO Book Club
 
"[A] very enjoyable book....Much of the book surrounds C.J.'s relationship with his uncle Ike Floyd. Ike, who raised C.J. since he was two years old, takes C.J. into his bail bondman and bounty hunter business and encourages him to learn the business as he thinks this will help C.J. ....The interactions and relationship between C.J. and Ike is the best part of the book and goes a long way to providing a better understanding of why C.J. is the way he is....After reading First of State, I read a few chapters of The Devil's Hatband, the first book in the C.J. Floyd series. Although written fourteen years prior to First of State, much of the same style and approach are present. In both books, Greer spends much time introducing the reader to what appears to be a main character, only to have that person murdered. This is an interesting approach that Greer uses that makes the reader really want C.J. Floyd to solve the murder and find the murderer. I'm certainly looking forward to finishing this book and many others in this enjoyable series."
—MostlyFiction.com

"First of State brings the series back to the basics as it allows fans to see how CJ got his start in the business that has carried him through the first eight novels. Greer provides a unique insight into what made CJ the person he is – a first-rate investigator still smoking his beloved cheroots and carefully considering clues that lead him to solve difficult cases. There is an emotional depth to this novel rarely seen in mysteries that allow readers to become engaged in the plot, rooting for their favorite characters, and feeling like they are part of the action in each scene."
—Bella Online
 
"Robert Greer has done it again in this prequel....a real page turner....It keeps you on edge from the beginning to the end."
—RawSISTAZ.com

"I absolutely love how Robert Greer added a second story line to First of State...The characters were absolutely unique and very interesting, ones that surely won't be forgotten-even if Mr. Greer kills them off in the end."
—The Romantic Type

"This was the first time reading [a book by Robert Greer], and it being the prequel, has piqued my curiosity as to the rest of the series."
—CMash Loves to Read

Library Journal
This prequel to Greer's series of mysteries featuring Denver bail bondsman/detective CJ Floyd (Blackbird; Farewell) begins with his return home in 1971 after two tours in Vietnam. An avid collector of license plates and other memorabilia, Floyd meets a World War II veteran who works at a local pawn shop. When his new friend is killed in what the police call a botched robbery, Floyd decides to investigate. The story proceeds over the next five years as Floyd learns the bail bonds business from his uncle and slowly readjusts to civilian life. He continues to work on the case as well, uncovering suspects and clues with the help of his friends and advice of his uncle. VERDICT Filling his intriguing mystery with images of life in an African American neighborhood in the 1970s and details of antiquing and flea market excursions, Greer creates a richly realized setting. This should appeal to followers of the CJ Floyd series and is a good introduction to new readers. It will also attract fans of African American mysteries as well as readers looking for a good mystery with a setting just outside the ordinary.—Dan Forrest, Western Kentucky Univ. Libs., Bowling Green
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781556439155
  • Publisher: North Atlantic Books
  • Publication date: 10/19/2010
  • Series: CJ Floyd Series , #8
  • Pages: 396
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Greer is a professor of pathology, medicine, surgery, and dentistry at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Denver, where he specializes in head and neck pathology and cancer research. He is the author of eight previous CJ Floyd mysteries.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 16, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Wonderful sense of place, time and people

    Robert Greer is the writer of the critically acclaimed C.J. Floyd mysteries, and has won many awards for his work. First of State, recently published in October 2010, is a prequel to the C.J. Floyd series, and serves as a fine introduction to an intriguing world of fascinating characters. I haven't yet read the other books, but I'll certainly look out for them.

    The book opens with C.J. Floyd's return from Vietnam. He comes back to his hometown, to the room where he grew up in his uncle's home, and to a growing depression fueled by post-traumatic stress. At twenty-two, he has no idea what he's going to do with his life, living instead a day at a time, following unfocussed impulses and treading carefully in the paths of old dreams.

    C.J. used to collect things. Specifically, he used to collect antique license plates, and that urge leads him back to the old G.I. Joe's pawn store, where he meets World War II veteran Wiley Ames. Wiley's instant recognition and friendship, coupled with wise advice, offer a ray of light. But soon the safe world of hometown peace has left two corpses lying in the street, and C.J. grapples with single-minded determination to find out what happened.

    C.J.'s uncle is the first black bail-bondsman and bounty hunter in the area-successful, wily, and wise. Soon C.J. is working for him, learning the ropes, training his investigative thoughts 'til they might be called skills, making mistakes, and getting out of scrapes. His friends help him. Strangers either hinder or help. And violence lurks still too close to the surface for comfort as his temper is tested. There's the murderer of a friend's son to be found, a cheating salesman putting pressure on another friend's father, and behind it all, as years begin to pass, there's C.J.'s longing to solve that first mystery that welcomed him home. If he could just do this, and control his temper, and improve his self-esteem, and feel like he deserved the girl of his dreams.

    Dialog and voice are pitch-perfect. The world of the 70s is evocatively drawn. Characters are filled with down-to-earth humor and kindness and common sense. And the plot twists keep C.J. and reader guessing right to the end. First of State is an intriguing character-driven mystery with a fascinating view of post-Vietnam America, curious insights on the worlds of flea-market and bail, and richly drawn settings in an African American neighborhood of 1970s Denver.



    Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Caitlin Hamilton Marketing and Publicity LLC in exchange for an unbiased review.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 18, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Robert Greer has written a great Floyd mystery that fans will thoroughly enjoy

    In 1971 twenty-something C.J. Floyd returns home after serving two tours in Vietnam as a Navy gunner. He suffers from undiagnosed battle fatigue and has trouble readjusting to civilian life in Denver. His Uncle Ike owns a bail bondsman business, takes his nephew into his home and thinks the best thing for CJ is to go to work.

    Bounty hunter CJ goes to GI Joe's pawn shop where he had secreted antique license plates that are no longer there. He meets World War II veteran and amputee Wiley Ames who has turned his life around after bouts of alcoholism and depression. The two vets feel connected with their love of memorabilia and become friends. When Ames and his Chinese partner are gunned down in what looks like a professional hit, CJ vows to bring the culprits to justice. It takes him five years working on and off the Ames murder before he finds his first clue at the Mile High Flea market where a vendor is selling antique license plates including some from the Ames collection. Even with this lead, CJ has years of inquiries to go before he begins to focus on a culprit ready to kill him.

    First of State is a prequel to the CJ Floyd mysteries (see Blackwell Farewell) as fans see what happened to the hero that has led to what he is in the present. He works some cases as a bail bondsman bounty hunter, but also is insecure especially about relationships as he struggles to cope as a young man with what he saw and did in Nam and watching a friend murdered doing surveillance in Denver. Robert Greer has written a great Floyd mystery that fans will thoroughly enjoy.

    Harriet Klausner

    The Echo Of Violence

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)