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Blackman's Coffin (Sam Blackman…
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Blackman's Coffin (Sam Blackman Mysteries) (edition 2008)

by Mark de Castrique

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866140,249 (3.68)18
Member:tututhefirst
Title:Blackman's Coffin (Sam Blackman Mysteries)
Authors:Mark de Castrique
Info:Poisoned Pen Press (2008), Paperback, 255 pages
Collections:Your library, Audio books
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Tags:ODMEVAMD, HM12, mystery

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Blackman's Coffin by Mark de Castrique

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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
Sam Blackman a patient at the Asheville VA hospital is visited by a young woman, Tikima, who like him has lost a limb in the Iraqi war. What begins as a harsh pep talk ends up as an intriguing job offer. Then days later later Tikima y is found dead in the French Broad River. The clues Blackman and Tikima's sister have to go on are scant; an old journal, file cards from Tikima's job as a security specialist. Before long it becomes apparent that Tikima's murder is some how tied to her great- great grandfather's.

The book is nicely plotted with a focus on character and place rather than the "puzzle." While Mark creates a compelling mystery, replete with clues, his focus remains on the people, something he considers am important aspect of the modern mystery. Besides creating strong characters with Sam and Nakayla, de Castrique deserves as hand for deftly weaving Asheville history and lore into the mystery without turning the story into a history lesson. Coming from nearby Hendersonville it is no surprise that de Castrique knows the area and its history well. His description are spot on. ( )
  lucybrown | Sep 27, 2015 |
Sam Blackman a patient at the Asheville VA hospital is visited by a young woman, Tikima, who like him has lost a limb in the Iraqi war. What begins as a harsh pep talk ends up as an intriguing job offer. Then days later later Tikima y is found dead in the French Broad River. The clues Blackman and Tikima's sister have to go on are scant; an old journal, file cards from Tikima's job as a security specialist. Before long it becomes apparent that Tikima's murder is some how tied to her great- great grandfather's.

The book is nicely plotted with a focus on character and place rather than the "puzzle." While Mark creates a compelling mystery, replete with clues, his focus remains on the people, something he considers am important aspect of the modern mystery. Besides creating strong characters with Sam and Nakayla, de Castrique deserves as hand for deftly weaving Asheville history and lore into the mystery without turning the story into a history lesson. Coming from nearby Hendersonville it is no surprise that de Castrique knows the area and its history well. His description are spot on. ( )
  lucybrown | Sep 27, 2015 |
Sam Blackman a patient at the Asheville VA hospital is visited by a young woman, Tikima, who like him has lost a limb in the Iraqi war. What begins as a harsh pep talk ends up as an intriguing job offer. Then days later later Tikima y is found dead in the French Broad River. The clues Blackman and Tikima's sister have to go on are scant; an old journal, file cards from Tikima's job as a security specialist. Before long it becomes apparent that Tikima's murder is some how tied to her great- great grandfather's.

The book is nicely plotted with a focus on character and place rather than the "puzzle." While Mark creates a compelling mystery, replete with clues, his focus remains on the people, something he considers am important aspect of the modern mystery. Besides creating strong characters with Sam and Nakayla, de Castrique deserves as hand for deftly weaving Asheville history and lore into the mystery without turning the story into a history lesson. Coming from nearby Hendersonville it is no surprise that de Castrique knows the area and its history well. His description are spot on. ( )
  lucybrown | Sep 27, 2015 |
This is the first in the series featuring Sam Blackman, a Veteran who served as a Chief Warrant Officer until he lost a limb. He becomes acquainted with Tikima Robertson, another former veteran who visits veterans, while in the VA hospital in Asheville, North Carolina thanks to an error on a government form. When she turns up dead, Sam, along with Tikima's sister, Nakayla, sets out to investigate. The solution appears to lie in the past. There's a handwritten journal penned by Thomas Wolfe and action at the famed Biltmore Estate. There's even an interesting geological slant that shows the author did his homework to come up with such a gripping narrative. This is an outstanding first in series. Having already read a later installment, I can truly say that this mystery series is quickly becoming one of my favorites. ( )
1 vote thornton37814 | Nov 17, 2011 |
Blackman’s Coffin is the first book in a new series from Mark de Castrique, author of the outstanding ‘Buryin’ Barry’ series. Blackman’s Coffin introduces us to Sam Blackman, a former Chief Warrant Officer in the Army’s Criminal Investigation Detachment who, having lost part of his left leg in Iraq, is currently rehabbing at a V.A. hospital in Asheville, N.C.

Shortly before he is set to be discharged, both from the hospital and the Army, he meets fellow vet and amputee Tikima Robertson during one of her visits to the hospital. Knowing of his investigative background, Tikima offers Sam a job with the security company where she works and promises to visit again in a couple of days. After several weeks pass with no word from Tikima, Sam follows up with her company only to learn that Tikima was murdered, her body having been pulled from the French Broad river with a gunshot to the head.

Sam subsequently receives a call from Tikima’s sister informing him that her sister’s apartment has been ransacked, and that she thinks she knows what the intruders were looking for… a journal from 1919 which recounts, among other things, the murder of the Robertsons’ great-great-grandfather, Elijah, who was also found in the French Broad river. Tikima had hidden the journal under the dust jacket of another book and left a note on it indicating that the journal was intended for Sam’s review. Feeling a sense of obligation to the woman who had reached out to him, Sam agrees to help investigate Tikima’s murder.

The plot, which deftly interweaves the modern day murder of Tikima with that of her great-great-grandfather Elijah, manages to include a great deal of history about Asheville, the Biltmore Estate and Thomas Wolfe (an Asheville native, and who does factor into the story), all without ever slowing down the pace of the story. As with his Barry Clayton series, which is also set in North Carolina, the characters in Blackman’s Coffin are so well written the reader immediately feels as though they’ve known them forever, and both the behavior and dialog of even the most bit player rings true. If you’ve never read Mark de Castrique’s work before, Blackman’s Coffin is a great place to start. ( )
  AllPurposeMonkey | May 22, 2010 |
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Sam Blackman, a Chief Warrant Officer in the Criminal Investigation Detachment of the U.S. military, and Nakayla Robertson must delve into Asheville's rich history--the legacy of the Vanderbilts at the Biltmore estate and of author Thomas Wolfe--to uncover the truth behind the murder of Nakayla's sister. Their only clue--the journal of a twelve-year-old boy.… (more)

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