Snowden Wright in conversation with Matt Bondurant for The Queen City Detective Agency

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.

Join us in welcoming author Snowden Wright for his new novel The Queen City Detective AgencyTuesday, August 13th at 5:30PM at Off Square Books. Wright will be in conversation with author Matt Bondurant.

Reserve a signed copy here. Personalization available. Can't make it? Tune in virtually via Facebook Live.

About the Book

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.

About the Author

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 AtlanticSalonEsquire, The Millions, and the New York Daily News, among other publications, and previously worked as a fiction reader at The New YorkerEsquire, 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.

About the Conversation Partner

Matt Bondurant’s latest novel Oleander City was published nationwide in June of 2022.  His previous novels include The Night Swimmer, which was featured in the New York Times Book ReviewOutside Magazine, and The Daily Beast, among others.  His second novel The Wettest County in the World is an international bestseller, a New York Times Editor’s Pick, a San Francisco Chronicle Best 50 Books of the Year, and was made into a feature film (Lawless) by Director John Hillcoat, starring Shia Labeouf, Tom Hardy, Jessica Chastain, Mia Wasikowska, Gary Oldman, and Guy Pearce.  His first novel The Third Translation is an international bestseller, translated into 14 languages worldwide.  He has published short stories in such journals as Glimmer TrainThe New England Review, and Prairie Schooner, and his latest short story appears in the Dallas Noir anthology published in 2015. Matt has published poems in The Notre Dame Review and Ninth Letter, among others, and his poetry is featured in Imaginative Writing, the most widely adopted creative writing text in the world.  
Matt has written feature articles, essays, and reviews for Outside MagazineNewsweek, and the Huffington Post, among other magazines and newspapers.  Specializing in adventure and endurance events, he’s recently published articles in Texas Monthly magazine about competing in the Texas Water Safari - "The World's Toughest Canoe Race” and in participating in Ned Denison’s English Channel Swim Training Camp in Ireland, the “most brutal, the most unforgiving, the most downright dastardly difficult open water swimming camp in the world” for Outside Magazine.  His most recent non-fiction piece, “The Real Thing” was selected for the 2017 Best Food Writing anthology. 

He has sold three original screenplays including a development deal with HBO/Cinemax to write and executive produce an original one-hour dramatic series, as well as a dramatic series for Warner Brothers Television.     
A former John Gardner Fellow in Fiction at Bread Loaf, Kingsbury Fellow at Florida State, and Walter E. Dakin Fellow at Sewanee, Matt has held residencies at Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony.  He has appeared on various media outlets including NPR, Radio France, The Discovery Channel, and MSNBC.  In the past Matt worked for the Associated Press National Broadcast Office in Washington DC, as an on-air announcer and producer at a local NPR station in Virginia, and as a Steward at the British Museum in London, England.  He currently lives in Oxford, Mississippi where he serves as the Director of the MFA Program at the University of Mississippi.

Praise for The Queen City Detective Agency

“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

Pre-Order Now Badge
The Queen City Detective Agency: A Novel By Snowden Wright Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062963581
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: William Morrow - August 13th, 2024

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.

Event date: 
Tuesday, August 13, 2024 - 5:30pm
Off Square Books
129 Courthouse Square
Oxford, MS 38655
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