Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Pg. 99: David Fulmer's "The Blue Door"

The current feature at the Page 99 Test: The Blue Door by David Fulmer.

About the book, from the publisher:
As welterweight boxer Eddie Cero makes his way home through a dark Philadelphia alley, he steps in on two punks beating up an older man. It’s a favor that’s going to turn Eddie’s life upside down. Sal Giambroni buys Eddie a round and offers him a part-time gig helping with his private-detective work. Despite Eddie’s reluctance, a few days on the job reveal that he has a knack for snooping — and then he stumbles onto a cold case involving a missing soul singer. A music lover with a budding interest in the singer’s attractive, talented sister, Eddie finds himself involved in a violent, twisted story of betrayal and intrigue, power and passion — all set to the beat of rock and roll.

David Fulmer’s acclaimed Storyville series brought us a New Orleans teeming with jazz. The Dying Crapshooter’s Blues took fans to Atlanta and the blues. The Blue Door now brings us the vibrant city of Philadelphia and the early days of its famous soul.
Among the advance praise for The Blue Door:
"Moving from 1907 New Orleans (Jass and Rampart Street) to 1962 Philadelphia, Shamus Award winner Fulmer pulls out all of the stops in creating a most engaging, reluctant private investigator. Eddie Cero, a welterweight boxer with too many serious injuries, meets up with Sal Giambroni, who hires him to tail a businessman. Eddie discovers he has a natural bent for this work and is soon taking on a three-year-old cold case involving a rising soul singer. Offering a vivid portrait of Philly's heyday as a music scene (think American Bandstand), Fulmer's latest mystery is an excellent choice for patrons who like George Pelecanos and a good dollop of music in their mysteries. Fulmer lives in Atlanta."
--Library Journal

"Shamus-winner Fulmer (The Dying Crapshooter's Blues) delivers another compelling tale of music and murder. In 1962 Philadelphia, a struggling young boxer's life is changed forever when he comes to the rescue of PI Sal Giambroni during a mugging in a South Philly alley. Giambroni offers welterweight Eddie Cero a job, and after reluctantly accepting, Eddie finds he has a knack for investigative work. He turns his attention to the unsolved disappearance of Johnny Pope, lead singer of the Excels, a once-popular rock group. Eddie finds himself falling for Pope's sister, Valerie, a jazz singer at the Blue Door Club, though she fiercely resists his attempts to uncover the truth about her brother. Fulmer expertly portrays the racial tensions of the era as Eddie, a white man, navigates his relationship with Valerie, a black woman. As in previous works, Fulmer excels at capturing the feel and textures of earlier decades, even as he moves forward in time with each successive novel. Drawn in by the immensely likable characters and rich, realistic story lines, readers will be eager to see where Fulmer goes next."
--Publishers Weekly

"Leisurely and atmospheric. Fulmer seems most intent on creating Eddie's quirky world, perhaps in preparation for further episodes. Eddie's exploits might do for the American Bandstand-era City of Brotherly Love what Fulmer's Storyville series (Rampart Street, 2006, etc.) did for Jazz Age New Orleans."
--Kirkus Reviews

"The Blue Door is an exciting historical private investigative tale. Eddie is terrific as he holds the story line together; his hunk lit asides add depth to 1962 when Bandstand ruled Rock and Roll. Readers will enjoy Eddie working the case, but it is the underbelly of the short-lived Camelot era that comes to vivid life that makes this a strong Philadelphia Noir."
--Harriet Klausner

"Fulmer gives us the whole package -- gritty characters, plot muscle and historical relevance. He vividly conveys the streets and the competitive interests of the crowd on both sides of the crime line, remaining true to motivations and behaviors that have the feel of humanity. But there's more to distinguish a Fulmer novel. No setting, for him, is complete without the music of the time, place and individual, which he laces through the narrative like a pattern in a garment. Be it historical New Orleans ("Jass"), Atlanta ("The Dying Crapshooter's Blues") or, as in this case, the dope-ridden, rum-soaked streets of Philly, the beat of the music is pervasive, as is the quality of the yarn. Anyone reading this would be well advised to pick up everything this under-rated author puts inside the covers of a book."
--Jules Brenner
Read Chapter One from The Blue Door and learn more about the author and his writing at David Fulmer's website.

David Fulmer is the author of, among other works, the acclaimed Storyville mysteries featuring Creole detective Valentin St. Cyr. The first volume of the series, Chasing the Devil's Tail, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Mystery/Thriller Book Prize and the winner of the Shamus Award for Best First P.I. Novel.

My Book, The Movie: David Fulmer's "Storyville" books.

The Page 69 Test: The Dying Crapshooter's Blues.

The Page 99 Test: The Blue Door.

--Marshal Zeringue