Booze, blues, and barbecue are the staples of my novel MEMPHIS RIBS. The hero of my story is a failed cotton farmer turned homicide detective in Memphis, J. W. Ragsdale, who gets his fill of all three of these main ingredients of life in the Bluff City as he pursues the killers of a drunken business traveler, the members of a local gang, and the patriarch of an old society family. In his efforts to get to the bottom of the killings, J.W. uncovers a conspiracy headed by a unusual crime syndicate peddling bad barbecue during the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest held on the banks of the Mississippi River.
J.W. , recently divorced and long cut off from his landed Delta heritage, is a menthol-smoking, cat fishing frequenter of juke joints like the Vapors and the Owl Bar. In between bad times domestically and personally, J.W. works his way along with his partner Tyrone Walker through the depths and heights of Memphis society on the trail of the sinners against barbecue and the killers of tourists and natives of the big town on the big river.
One reviewer called MEMPHIS RIBS so entertaining and suspenseful that readers could wonder if the author was once part of the action. With one hand on my heart and the other on a plate of ribs, I swear I’m just a gentle man telling a sweet story about a rough couple of months in a quaint location in Tennessee. Please believe me. Would I lie? Would J. W. Ragsdale lead you wrong? Not!