Done for a Dime
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A saxophonist’s murder is only the first shot fired in a citywide warAll great blues musicians chase something. Raymond “Strong” Carlisle calls it “the deep sweet”—that perfect note that always seems to sit just out of reach. For decades he has made crowds swing, made women smile, and earned the respect of some of the greats. But as long as he strained for the deep sweet, nothing he did with his baritone sax seemed to matter. Chasing that fantasy has led him here, to lie in the rain beneath a sycamore, counting his bullet holes as he dies. The detective on the scene is Dennis Murchison, a white cop who has seen too many murders to be shocked by a dead blues man. As he eliminates possible suspects, he’s left to decide between a lowlife drug pusher and Toby Marchand—Strong Carlisle’s son. As the city heaves into violent frenzy, Murchison finds that answers hover like the deep sweet: just out of reach.“[Corbett] uses some of the traditional tools of genre fiction in bold new ways. . . . Sharp and exceptionally poignant.” —Publishers Weekly “Gritty, uncompromising. . . . If you are looking for the best in contemporary crime fiction, this is it.” —The Washington Post “An extraordinary police procedural. . . . Corbett’s characters ring true across many color lines.” —San Jose Mercury News
Before becoming a novelist, David Corbett (b. 1953) spent fifteen years as an investigator for the San Francisco private detective agency Palladino & Sutherland, working on several high-profile cases. In 1995, he left to help his wife set up her own law firm, and in 2000 he sold his first novel, The Devil’s Redhead, a thriller about a reformed pot smuggler trying to save his ex-girlfriend from the deadly consequences of her own misguided sympathy. Corbett’s second novel, Done for a Dime (2003), begins with the murder of a blues legend and turns into a battle for the soul of a small town. It was a New York Times Notable Book and was nominated for a Macavity Award from Mystery Readers International. Next came Blood of Paradise (2007), which was nominated for the Edgar and numerous other awards. It was named both a San Francisco Chronicle Notable Book and one of the Top Ten Mysteries and Thrillers of 2007 by the Washington Post. Corbett’s fourth novel, the critically acclaimed Do They Know I’m Running? (2010), tells of a young Salvadoran-American’s harrowing journey to El Salvador to retrieve his deported uncle. It received the Spinetingler Award, Best Novel: Rising Star Category. He has also contributed chapters to the two Harry Middleton serial novels. Corbett’s most recent book, a collection of short stories titled Killing Yourself to Survive (2012), is offered exclusively through Mysterious Press and Open Road Media.