Throwback to the Sixties
Set in the sixties, Carson Reno is the owner of the Drake Detective Agency in Memphis. When asked to investigate what might be infidelity by a wife who thinks she is hiring a stranger, he ends up implicated in the murder of JR Maxwell in his own hometown. Two thugs (Bubba and Bobby) try to convince him to keep his distance while the police chief insists he return to Humboldt to answer some questions. Of course, there are some lovely ladies to provide some distraction, as well as Carson’s friends at Chiefs and the Starlight to provide support and libation. The union shut down at the textile mill, the trucks not allowed to leave, and the questionable meetings of JR, especially with General Samson and Judy Strong, give the story added dimension.Having come of age in the sixties, the classic cars and social norms depicted by Darnell held a touch of nostalgia. The characters seemed to fit the times. The plot was easy to follow, but JR’s murderer and the motive weren’t obvious until the end. Fans of Perry Mason, Mike Hammer, Donald Lam and others from that era will like Carson Reno for sure. This is the first in the Carson Reno series, the 12th (Justifiable Homicide) was published in October 2014.