Mitty Andersen knows that rising blues star Bobby Tarleton didn't die of a heroin overdose. He'd blown enough blues harmonica notes with Bobby to know that he would never let anything get in the way of his music. So when he gets the news in the middle of his blues set at Little Queenie's, he suspects a cover-up--and he's determined to put his ex-investigative reporter skills to work to find out what really happened.
Mitty hits the blues circuit with his "partner in chime," Pete Bolden, and rounds up a posse disguised as a blues band. They gig the juke joints and blues bars throughout Southeast Texas and Louisiana, hoping to uncover the truth about Bobby T's death. It doesn't take long for Mitty to figure out that Bobby T just might be the latest in a decades-long string of serial murders aimed at eliminating "those who play the Devil's music."
Now Mitty must race against the clock to put an end to the madness before another harmonica player succumbs to a deranged psychopath who has managed to avoid capture for far too long.
About the Author
He spent twenty nine years teaching Texas high school students journalism, world geography, and English. After retiring from teaching, his love of the blues and writing fiction met at the crossroads, and he began fulfilling his lifelong goal to author the novel that he always said that he would. He is an active member of the Sisters in Crime organization and maintains an author website at www.richardbushbooks.com, a Facebook page under Ricky Bush, and a Twitter account @bushdog51.
Richard hangs his hat in his self-built log home in rural Texas, where he and his wife, Virginia, raised two daughters and a son. He can occasionally be coaxed into assisting with the small family oil and gas operation that they helped build. When he’s not applying his fingers to the keyboard, he puts a harmonica to his lips and practices what he preaches by blowing the blues.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A murder mystery and blues music are two things that have not been thought a lot about, but Mr. Bush obviously has. I am waiting on the second book.....
J.P. Dillon. Top Cat. Jimmy Miller. These three guys have exactly three things in common: They were relatively well-known, successful blues musicians; they played the harmonica; they were murdered by serial killers who intelligently made their deaths seem natural, self-induced, or caused by someone else. Unfortunately, the harmonica serial killers have stolen more than three lives. Bobby T., one of Mitty and Pete's close friends, joins the list of murdered blues musicians. Though officials have written Bobby's death off as a heroin overdose, Mitty (and later Pete) are convinced that there's no way Bobby died from that. Sure, he was once a junkie, but Mitty is convinced that Bobby's constitution was much too strong to suddenly overdose years after quitting. Even if Bobby's wife hadn't asked him to look into Bobby's death, Mitty would have done it anyway. His skills and connections gained from being an investigative reporter and blues musician really helps. His journey for answers is definitely not an easy one. Bodies are piling up left and right. The deeper Mitty digs, the crazier things become. Mitty, Pete, and everyone willing to help are determined to find the murderers, but the murderers are always one step ahead. Can Mitty win or will he die trying? River Bottom Blues is well-written and interesting enough to appeal to both blues fans and people who know little to nothing about blues. Author Ricky Bush does a great job capturing the blues culture and reflecting it in this novel. Bush's skill as a blues musician and journalist himself really shines. Though I didn't like all the name dropping (after awhile, I had a hard time keeping up with all the names and deciding who mattered most), it's excusable since the names do a marvelous job illustrating how vast the Blues world is. Apart from the occasional awkwardly phrased sentence, no errors really jumped out at me. Not only were the stakes high, but the characters were interesting and memorable. The climax, just like with any great murder mystery, was hectic and nervewrecking. All in all, I found River Bottom Blues an enjoyable read.