The Queen City Detective Agency: A Novel (Hardcover)

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The Queen City Detective Agency: A Novel By Snowden Wright Cover Image

The Queen City Detective Agency: A Novel (Hardcover)


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Following an unforgettable cast of characters and a jaded female P.I. enmeshed in a criminal conspiracy in 1980s Mississippi, The Queen City Detective Agency is a riveting, razor-sharp Southern noir that unravels the greed, corruption, and racism at the heart of the American Dream.

Meridian, Mississippi—once known as the Queen City for its status in the state—has lost much of its royal bearing by 1985. Overshadowed by more prosperous cities such as New Orleans and Atlanta, Meridian attracts less-than-legitimate businesses, including those enforced by the near-mythical Dixie Mafia. The city’s powerbrokers, wealthy white Southerners clinging to their privilege, resent any attempt at change to the old order.

Real-estate developer Randall Hubbard took advantage of Meridian’s economic decline by opening strip malls that catered to low-income families in Black neighborhoods—until he wound up at the business end of a .38 Special. Then a Dixie Mafia affiliate named Lewis “Turnip” Coogan, who claims Hubbard’s wife hired him for the hit, dies under suspicious circumstances while in custody for the murder.

Ex-cop turned private investigator Clementine Baldwin is hired by Coogan’s bereaved mother to find her son’s killer. A woman struggling with her own history growing up in Mississippi, Clem braves the Queen City’s corridors of crime as she digs into the case, opening wounds long forgotten. She soon finds herself in the crosshairs of powerful and dangerous people who manipulate the law for their own ends—and will kill anyone who threatens to reveal their secrets.

Born and raised in Mississippi, Snowden Wright is the author of American Pop, a Wall Street Journal WSJ+ Book of the Month and NPR Best Book of the Year. He has written for The Atlantic, Salon, Esquire, The Millions, and the New York Daily News, among other publications, and previously worked as a fiction reader at The New Yorker, Esquire, and The Paris Review. Wright was a Marguerite and Lamar Smith Fellow at the Carson McCullers Center, and his small-press debut, Play Pretty Blues, received the Summer Literary Seminar’s Graywolf Prize. He lives in Yazoo County, Mississippi.

Product Details ISBN: 9780062963581
ISBN-10: 0062963589
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: August 13th, 2024
Pages: 272
Language: English

“Mr. Wright’s imagined history of the rise and fall of the sugary drink empire is so robust and recognizable that you might feel nostalgic for the taste of a soda you’ve never had.” — Sam Sacks, Wall Street Journal, on American Pop

“American Pop fizzes with the same energy as a freshly opened soft drink…. Snowden Wright’s lush depictions of the varied time periods and locales make it easy to envision it all. So, crack open a can and savor this story.”  — NPR

American Pop delivers a wondrously mosaic-like, multigenerational chronicle of a family that builds a soda pop empire from a Mississippi Delta drugstore.... A singularly original work.” — New York Journal of Books

“The fortune of the Forster family was built on fizz but sustained by grit, luck, and cunning. This spectacular novel blends history and lore as it follows the story of Houghton and Annabelle, who fall in love and, as they build a life together, build an empire. This is an American saga of one man’s ambition, the woman who stoked it, and the family whose complex identity it became. Snowden Wright takes us into the heart of the deep south with insight, sophistication, and humor. What a ride!” — Adriana Trigiani on American Pop

“You’ll be up all night reading American Pop; rich, Mississippians loose on the world, committing hi-jinks, and with a lovely satisfying ending. A great read.” — Paulette Jiles

“[The Queen City Detective Agency] evokes the atmosphere and tension of the 1980s American South, emphasizing the rage and emotions of a woman of color who’s faced with the political clout of ruthless white power brokers.” — Library Journal