Opening the iTunes Store.If iTunes doesn't open, click the iTunes application icon in your Dock or on your Windows desktop.Progress Indicator
Opening the iBooks Store.If iBooks doesn't open, click the iBooks app in your Dock.Progress Indicator

iTunes is the world's easiest way to organize and add to your digital media collection.

We are unable to find iTunes on your computer. To download from the iTunes Store, get iTunes now.

Already have iTunes? Click I Have iTunes to open it now.

I Have iTunes Free Download

The Contrary Blues

Owen Allison, no. 1

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


Contrary, West Virginia, a sleepy town with failing coal mines, has an urgent need for revenue. A federal grant for a non-existent bus system meets that need, until a government auditor consumes too much white lightning and dies under mysterious circumstances. When the Department of Transportation sends Owen Allison to sort things out, Owen decides to let the phony bus subsidy continue until another body surfaces and Owen fears that he may be the next to die.

From Publishers Weekly

Jun 01, 1998 – Billheimer's impressive debut tells a funny, sometimes touching story about governmental bumbling and Appalachian poverty and resourcefulness. National Department of Transportation investigator Owen Allison, a West Virginia native, is assigned the unwelcome task of completing an audit begun by a colleague who met with a fatal "accident" in the little town of Contrary, W.Va. Contrary, Owen quickly discovers, has been the recipient of unintentional governmental largess: an extra zero on a grant application turned Contrary's initial request for two buses into a request for 20. The mistakenly awarded grant, with continuing funding for support, has turned Contrary into a contented town--except for Hatfield McCoy, a disabled citizen who keeps firing off disgruntled letters about Contrary's bus service. Contrary's attempts to retain the funds are guided by its folksy mayor, Purvis Jenkins, and his sister, town belle Mary Beth. Well-developed subplots include Mary Beth's coal-mining ex-husband's battle with alcoholism and black-lung disease, Owen's struggle with his political boss and a sheriff with a yen for Mary Beth and nasty plans for Owen. Owen's future as a sleuth is uncertain at story's end, but Billheimer's writing prospects seem assured.
The Contrary Blues
View in iTunes
  • $2.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Mysteries & Thrillers
  • Published: Oct 22, 2014
  • Publisher: The Mystery Company
  • Seller: Smashwords, Inc.
  • Print Length: 266 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings

We have not received enough ratings to display an average for this book.