Monday, May 17, 2010

"Mississippi Vivian"

Bill Crider is the author of more than fifty novels, including the Sheriff Dan Rhodes series. He is the winner of the Anthony Award and has been nominated for both the Shamus and Edgar Awards. The late Clyde Wilson was a legendary Texas private eye. He worked with the famous and the infamous. One of his cases was the basis for two true-crime books and a made-for-TV movie.

Crider applied the Page 69 Test to Mississippi Vivian, their second collaborative novel, and reported the following:
Okay, I’m going to have to cheat because the first paragraph on page 69 begins on page 68. I think it’s worth quoting, however, so here it is:
I nodded. I understood how things were done in small towns and backwoods counties. It worked all right as long as the sheriff was honest, but there were times when the power went to a man’s head and turned him into something worse than the lowest criminal. I’d dealt with someone like that once, and I hoped I wouldn’t have to again.
Those are the thoughts of Ted Stephens, an insurance investigator from Houston, Texas. He’s been sent to the small town of Losgrove, Mississippi, to find out why so many people there have gone to work on the Houston Ship Channel and sustained mysterious injuries that have allowed them to file claims with the insurance company that’s hired Stephens. The case has turned out to be considerably more complicated than anybody thought it would, and now there’s a murder involved. In fact, more than one murder, Stephens suspects, and he isn’t sure if anyone in town can be trusted, even the members of the sheriff’s department.

I’d hope that this paragraph would make the reader wonder just what kind of law there was in Losgrove and just how much more trouble Stephens was going to get into. Plenty, of course. Trust me.
Read more about Mississippi Vivian at the publisher's website, and visit Bill Crider's website and blog.

My Book, The Movie: Mississippi Vivian.

Check out the complete list of books in the Page 69 Test Series.

--Marshal Zeringue