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Blackman's Coffin    by Mark de Castrique order for
Blackman's Coffin
by Mark de Castrique
Order:  USA  Can
Poisoned Pen, 2008 (2008)
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

I picked up Mark de Castrique's Blackman's Coffin, expecting another fast-paced Undertaking adventure. Though I was initially disappointed to find that this book is the debut of a new series, it was for only a moment. I read the first page and was hooked. Gladly. Blackman's Coffin goes back in time to 1919 in the mountains around Asheville, North Carolina, and features Sam Blackman - a veteran of the Iraqi war and an amputee.

The death of Elijah, a black man, has long been unexplained. Could it have been murder? His great-great granddaughter tries to interest Blackman in investigating the man's death. Before she can really appeal to him, she is found murdered. I won't go any further with the plot. It is too good to reveal. De Castrique's latest is thrilling and exciting, racing from one crisis to the next. His character Sam is to be liked, not only for coming to terms with the loss of his leg, but for doing what he believes is right. One of my brothers lost his during World War II and I understood a great deal of what Sam was going through. But not all. I learned a lot.

I also learned a lot about gold and emeralds and mountains and caves. And human greed. Don't miss Blackman's Coffin. Hit me again, Mark.

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