Wednesday, May 28, 2014


David Fuller's first novel, Sweetsmoke, was nominated for an Edgar Award for Best First Novel by an American Author, as well as being shortlisted for a John Creasy "New Blood" Dagger Award in Great Britain. It was a Discover Great New Writers pick for Barnes & Noble, and an Original Voices pick for Borders.

Fuller applied the Page 69 Test to Sundance, his new novel, and reported the following:
In Sundance, page 69 finds Harry Longbaugh, the Sundance Kid, in New York City trying to gather information from the woman who had, two years before, been the landlady of his wife, Etta Place. In the novel, Longbaugh had been in prison for twelve years under an alias when he and Butch Cassidy were supposedly killed in Bolivia. Etta had moved to New York, at Longbaugh’s request, so that she would go ahead with her life. He and Etta had been writing each other faithfully for years. Two years ago, her letters stopped with no warning. Now he is in New York, following whatever small trail she may have left for him. He does not know if she is dead or alive. If she is still alive, has she stopped loving him?

On page 69, his landlady realizes he is who he says he is, when he pulls out one of Etta’s old letters. She begins to tell Longbaugh how much she admired Etta.

This is the first information Longbaugh learns about Etta’s life in New York. He will come to meet a series of men and women with whom Etta interacted before she disappeared. Each person with whom he speaks has their own impression of her. A new portrait of Etta emerges, as each person sees her differently. Longbaugh finds himself falling in love with Etta all over again, this new Etta, this Etta who has been living a life he could not have anticipated. He had hoped he would find her unchanged when he came back to her, so that they could pick up where they left off. But she has grown, and gotten herself in serious danger, infuriating the head of the Black Hand, the predecessor to the Mafia, by trying to help a woman in trouble.

Longbaugh still wonders if she is dead or alive. And if she is alive, his search may be helping the Black Hand find her as well.
Learn more about the book and author at David Fuller's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: Sweetsmoke.

--Marshal Zeringue