Mississippi's strong tradition of storytelling has contributed to an equally strong tradition of writing. Mississippi's authors styles stretch from the sublime to the wildest extreme. Here are a few interesting books that are worth the effort of locating.
Bill Fitzhugh, Radio Active, Fender Benders and others.
Fitzhugh has written many wild and crazy mysteries, these two are representative. In Radio Active, unemployed rock DJ Rick Shannon turns into "Buddy Miles, PI" (named for the drummer of the Jimi Hendrix Experience). The satire builds up quickly as colorful Mississippi personalities bounce off of each other. In Fender Benders, Fitzhugh sets story in the country music world of Nashville. Music and murder combine with treachery, betrayal and humor to create an entertaining tale of excess.
Charlaine Harris, Club Dead, Definitely Dead and others.
Charlaine Harris writes several mystery series. These feature vampires and other horror-story creatures in laugh out loud romantic mysteries.
Martin Hegwood, Big Easy Backroad, The Green Eyed Hurricane, Jackpot Bay and others.
Hegwood's detective, Jack Delmas, is a Mississippi Everyman. While he is smart, strong and clever he still turns into a puppy when he thinks about his daughter. The Green Eyed Hurricane is set at the time the casinos were just moving in to the coast. Hegwood's descriptions of the coast before Katrina are especially poignant after the fact. Jackpot Bay features the casino culture further along in time.
Phil Hardwick, Vengeance in Vicksburg, Collision in Columbia and others.
Hardwick's little books can be read in one sitting. They feature Mississippi settings that are perhaps more important than the action. It is fun to read stories set in places we know well.
Next post will feature other literary Mississippians.
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