Set in New Orleans in the early part of the 20th century, David Fulmer's first three novels were stylish and atmospheric tales of jazz and murder in the Big Easy. For his latest thriller, The Dying Crapshooter's Blues, Fulmer moves a few hundred miles eastward to 1920s Atlanta, and a new protagonist, Joe Rose, a mixed-race thief of jewelry and hearts, although not necessarily in that order. Rose has just blown into Atlanta when he is summoned to the scene of a shooting. The dying man's final request is that Rose find out why he was shot, and bring the perp to justice. It will not be an easy task, as folks on both sides of the law have a vested interest in keeping the killer under wraps, even though everyone (the reader included) knows his identity early on. Aided by his delightfully larcenous love interest, Pearl Spencer, Rose undertakes an investigation that leads him from the mansions of Atlanta's elite to the mean streets of the colored section. Rich in historical detail, infused with atmosphere, suspenseful and action-packed, The Dying Crapshooter's Blues earns this month's Tip of the Ice Pick Award.

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