…but it’s definitely not the last time I’ll be handselling his books to you. His was a unique and delightful voice in crime fiction and he’s one of those authors whose work I never tire of recommending. He could write it all, and all of it well.
Fred died last year and I was honored to help finish his last book, Countdown. It is the sequel to Copper Kettle, where he introduced us to Jesse Sutherlin, the great-great of Essie, the deputy in his Ike Schwartz novels. Jesse survives the trenches of World War I to return home to Buffalo Mountain, only to find himself hip-deep in his family’s ancient enemies, the LeBruns, murder, and a burgeoning romance with Serena Barker, the one person on Buffalo Mountain who is smarter than he is and a LeBrun herself. A tale somewhere between the Hatfields and the McCoys and Romeo and Juliet.
It’s 1928, Jesse Sutherlin now has his own family and has made a success at the sawmill below Virginia’s Buffalo Mountain working for JG Edwards. The country’s economy is booming. And then David Privette, the sheriff who succeeded Dalton P. Franklin with whom Jesse had a run-in or two in Copper Kettle, arrives with surprising news – the body of Jesse’s father has just been discovered in the pit at Smith’s West Oxford Street ice house operation. How could this be? In 1918 a man had brought the family the news that Sutherlin, Sr., had died of the Spanish flu while seeking work up in Norfolk, Virginia.
Fred’s wife, Susan, will be joining us to celebrate the work and the man. I don’t know which I’m going to miss more. See you at the Poisoned Pen tomorrow at 2pm.
“Eight years after Copper Kettle we drop in on Jesse Sutherlin and his wife Serena, plagued by murders old and new beneath the advancing shadow of the Great Depression. Plot, characters, voice all still at that same gold standard Ramsay set from first book to this, his last.” –Dana Stabenow, bestselling author of the Kate Shugak Series