Saturday, September 14, 2013

"Detroit Shuffle"

D. E. Johnson, a graduate of Central Michigan University, is a history buff who has been writing fiction since childhood. He comes by his interest in automotive history through his grandfather, who was the vice president of Checker Motors. Johnson's books include The Detroit Electric Scheme, Motor City Shakedown, and Detroit Breakdown.

Johnson applied the Page 69 Test to Detroit Shuffle, the fourth volume of his Detroit Mysteries, and reported the following:
From page 69:

Wednesday, October 16, 1912

We were looking through the cabinets in the kitchen when Detective Riordan asked, “You said he lived elsewhere, correct?”

I answered without thinking. “I think so. Sapphira said he was hiding here.”

When Riordan didn’t respond, I turned around. He was staring at me, eyes narrowed, concentration deadly.

“What?” I asked.

“Sapphira Xanakis?” His voice was soft, but it carried the weight of the world.

Perhaps it was sleep deprivation, but I hadn’t thought about the implications of mentioning her to Detective Riordan. “Yes.”

“She’s in town?”

“Well . . . yes, but let me explain.”

“The Sapphira Xanakis who was John Cooper’s accomplice in the murders of Elizabeth’s father and Wesley McRae? The Sapphira Xanakis who helped Cooper nearly kill Elizabeth?”

“And me. Yes, but she’s not—”

“First of all, I don’t hold nearly killing you against anyone. The whole thing was your fault. Second”— he put his hands on his hips and squared himself to me—“are you out of your goddamn mind?”
This is an early moment of the murder investigation, and Will has let the cat out of the bag on an important secret. Detective Riordan wants to catch Sapphira Xanakis, a nemesis from The Detroit Electric Scheme. Will’s gut says to trust her, but he’s still trying to decide how far he can.

This book is all about trust and credibility, with Will’s behavior under suspicion because of a brain trauma, every other character with a hidden agenda other than Elizabeth Hume, who Will desperately wants to protect from a murderer, and (not surprisingly) seemingly every politician on Detroit on the take.

1912 was a tough year in Detroit politics. First, seventeen members of the city council were arrested for accepting bribes in a huge sting operation, then “Big Liquor” succeeded in their conspiracy to beat the woman’s suffrage amendment on Michigan’s ballot, with much of their activity centered in the city.

These two incidents take center stage in the book, as Will sorts through the criminals, trying to save Elizabeth from a threat only he believes in.
Learn more about the book and author at D.E. Johnson's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: Motor City Shakedown.

The Page 69 Test: Detroit Breakdown.

My Book, The Movie: Detroit Breakdown.

--Marshal Zeringue