24. Tishomingo Blues – Elmore Leonard
Mississippi is framed by areas with lots of casinos. In northern Mississippi, there’s Tunica. In southern Mississippi there’s the Gulf Coast with Gulfport and Biloxi, home of the Beau Rivage, the first casino I’ve ever entered and the casino where occasionally Kathy Griffin performs and I get irritated by my inability to pay the ticket prices. Tishomingo Blues takes place close to some casinos in northern Mississippi and involves a murder witness who also happens to be a performer – Dennis, master of high diving shows.
Elmore Leonard is one of those matter of fact writers that doesn’t leave anything out and doesn’t beat you over the head with the clues or twists in the storyline. His dialogue is solid and even though I have zero possibilities of being able to relate to most of his characters in this book I still enjoy reading about them. They’re fully realized doers, not wistful starers, and sometimes that’s really necessary. I also learned a lot while reading Tishomingo Blues, about a variety of blues musicians Robert kept playing in his car (he’s got a bit of that hipster “why haven’t you heard of this?” quality about him, but he’s not as condescending as the typical hipster), how to kill people for real during Civil War re-enactments without getting caught (you need a taco truck and a lot of assistants), and about how high diving into a tiny tank works including ladder rigging information.