Cover image for Blood red blues : a Harlem noir introducing Devil Barnett
Blood red blues : a Harlem noir introducing Devil Barnett
Hayes, Teddy.
Personal Author:
First U. S. edition.
Publication Information:
Boston : Kate's Mystery Books, 2004.

Physical Description:
192 pages ; 21 cm
Format :


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FICTION Adult Fiction Open Shelf

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Devil Barnett a CIA agent with a talent for eliminating special problems a talent he used for fifteen years. But when his father is killed in his own bar the Be-Bop, Devil leaves the Company to come home to run the Be-Bop and finds Harlem greatly changed from his boyhood home. Overrun with drugs, gangs, and self-serving politicians.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Devil Barnett may have quit the CIA to run his dead father's bar in Harlem, but the quiet life remains elusive. He's only been home a few months when the police ask him to lend a hand investigating a drug-den massacre with political repercussions. Barnett is an interesting sleuth. His disenchantment with the CIA seems to have been more the glass ceiling than the gruesome wet work he was asked to perform. He has sickle-cell anemia, a condition that demands he keep his stress levels down--not easy when chasing a killer. He's also a jazz fan and an excellent tour guide to a Harlem that is politically complicated, steeped in history, and rich in sensual extremes. But while Hayes' debut shows promise, it has marked flaws. Barnett's involvement in the case is poorly established, and the ending uses a point-by-point plot recap worthy of Scooby-Doo. Most frustrating, the prose itself is marred by a reliance on cliches. Still, there's some of Chester Himes' magnetism here. Stick with this one; it just might get a lot better. --Keir Graff Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Teddy Hayes dives into the legendary history of Harlem, often recalling the brilliant crime novels of Chester Himes, in his fast-paced noir debut, Blood Red Blues: A Devil Barnett Detective Novel. Barnett, a former wet-ops hit man for the CIA, returns to Harlem to ease back and run the Be-Bop Tavern after his father's death, but trouble keeps knocking at his door, starting with a massacre at a sex-and-drugs party whose victims include a Japanese diplomat. Nice touches of humor leaven the up-to-the-moment action. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved