cover image The Sandburg Connection: A Sam Blackman Mystery

The Sandburg Connection: A Sam Blackman Mystery

Mark de Castrique. Poisoned Pen, $24.95 (298p) ISBN 978-1-59058-941-0; $14.95 trade paper ISBN 978-1-59058-943-4

At the outset of de Castrique's stellar third mystery featuring Asheville, N.C., PI Sam Blackman (after 2010's The Fitzgerald Ruse), Sam and his partner, Nakayla Robertson, are following professor Janice Wainwright to determine if she's really suffering the pain that has led to her $5 million lawsuit against a surgeon, his clinic, and a hospital. The pair trail her to Glassy Mountain, from whose peak she takes a fatal fall. Before expiring, Wainwright mumbles something about "Sandburg's verses." Convinced Wainwright's death was no accident, Sam vows to find her killer. A missing folk song, a buried treasure from Civil War days, and a pregnant goat all play a part in this marvelous blend of history and mystery seasoned with information about Carl Sandburg's life and times on his Asheville farm and the National Park Service's current operations there. This strong regional mystery should resonate with a much wider audience. (Oct.)