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Crescent Blues Book ViewsImage:three moon gifSilver Dagger Mysteries ISBN 1-57072-144-0
The Appalachian mountains in the 1950s forms the backdrop to this intriguing tale of deceit, murder and forbidden friendship.

Duanne Clemmon almost beatsBook: Patrick Bone, A Melungeon Winter 17-year-old Jubalee Duffy to death, because of Jubalee's friendship with Robert, a young black man. While Jubalee lies in hospital, halfway between dying and living, Jubalee's father pays a visit to Duane and his father, Hatcher Clemmon. Mean and ornery from years of moonshine running, Hatcher threatens to kill Jubalee's father -- who in turn promises to kill Hatcher if Jubalee should die.

Shortly after Jubalee's recovery, Hatcher Clemmon dies of a gunshot wound in the back. A fixed trial and several perjuring witnesses later, and Jubalee's father finds himself sentenced to die for Hatcher's murder.

Jubalee can't believe it. Robert and Jubalee turn for help to the only person they know they can trust -- an old Melungeon hermit who lives in the mountains. Old Denny Mullins, known to the locals as the "man who eats children," befriends the two boys, teaching them about life and growing up.

Attempting to dodge the widely spread prejudice and persecution that moves into their lives, the young men begin their own informal investigations. Alternately aided and hindered hindered by Jubalee's eccentric Uncle Dudley and buoyed by Denny's sage advice, the two friends face the animosity of the law, the Ku Klux Clan and the network of moonshiners that riddles the hills. Finally, the novel culminates in a climax where trust and betrayal both cut deep and sharp as any knife.

Stephen Smith

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