Review: Bluebird, Bluebird (Highway 59, #1) by Attica Locke

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★★★

Mulholland Books | 2017

Filed Under: Makes Racists Afraid Again


This is a tricky review to write because there are two different elements to this book that require attention. The first is the atmosphere and setting and all the social issues that go along with writing a novel set in a small one-horse Texas town with deep ties to America’s racist history.

The other is the mystery itself, because this is a mystery novel. Why were a black man and a white woman murdered together, and who did it?

The setting and the mystery work together and separately, propelling the plot forward while also giving the reader a glimpse into what small-town southern life is like when the local bar is full of Aryan Brotherhood members and up the road is a black-owned Jim Crow-era restaurant.

Honestly, is it just me or is the idea of travelling to the U.S. as an outsider just like, no thanks? I’m gonna quote Bowie here and say, I’m afraid of Americans. Obviously not all Americans, but as a whole? No, thanks again. I think if I was going to travel to the U.S., I’d pick places where my risk of running into bigoted, racist assholes and people carrying guns for no reason is significantly lowered. I don’t want to die just because I wanted to see the Grand Canyon, you know what I mean?

But, I digress…

American Usa GIF by CTV Comedy Channel
Continue reading “Review: Bluebird, Bluebird (Highway 59, #1) by Attica Locke”

Black Mystery/Thriller Authors We Should Be Reading!

Alright, Nerds, this is going to be your one stop shop for all the books that will help you better diversify the mystery/thriller section of your bookshelves! I’m not going to lie, I fucking need this too! By no means is this comprehensive, but it’s a start.

I think we’ve all become aware that in the world of books, black authors get lower advances, lower marketing and less readership because of it. And I’ve seen the push in the book community to really make a change.

When I was putting together a book stack for Pride Month I realized I have a very white, very straight physical bookshelf. (I’ll get to queer authors in a different post.)

The truth is, I was never the kind of reader who gave a second-thought to who was writing the book. If the cover caught my eye and the synopsis sounded like it was up my alley, I’d TBR it, buy it or borrow it.

While I don’t necessarily think there’s anything wrong with being that kind of reader, it’s also important to realize how book publishing works and why – nine times out of ten – you’re likely to pick up books by white authors.

The only way to create a more equitable bookshelf in this moment in time is to actively seek out author diversity.

And let’s be honest, if you’re mostly into mystery, thriller and horror genres, book store shelves are not exactly overflowing with anything except white people… and James Patterson (*shakes fist at my arch nemesis*)

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I put together this list in the hopes that you and I will both find something that speaks to us, and intrigues our book nerd hearts, that we didn’t realize was out there and can now we can seek out with purpose.

Continue reading “Black Mystery/Thriller Authors We Should Be Reading!”