This Monday finds Kaye George reviewing a police procedural that also has some romance. If Out of the Blues by Trudy Nan Boyce does not seem what you are looking for, surf back in time by way of previous “Monday With Kaye” blogs to look for your next read as Kaye has recommended plenty of reads here these past 16 months.
Out of the Blues by Trudy Nan Boyce
Detective Salt, short for Sarah Alt, lives in a gritty world. But the police procedure alternates with a gentle romance. I loved the behind-the-scenes glimpses scattered throughout the story.
Salt’s father’s suicide when she was ten casts a long shadow on her present-day life. She wears his actual trench coat, lives in his house with his music tapes and his books on depression. The tapes are blues tapes; the books, of course, are about the blues. And Salt has recently left behind the blue uniform of a beat cop, so the title is a neat multi-layered pun.
As a new detective, she undergoes a hazing of sorts, that she has to work through in order to do her job. Her first case is a cold one, the death of a blues musician who may have been given an intentional “hot” dose. She works through stupid rookie mistakes and false starts, only to end up in her old beat neighborhood, The Homes, in Atlanta, looking for clues and a resolution to the case.
Off the job, we meet Wonder, her dog, and Pepper her former police partner and present sparring partner. We also enter her dreams, where dogs figure prominently and cases may even be solved.
This debut novel is a different sort of police story—one I think you’ll enjoy.