This book, set in Savannah, Georgia, contains quite the diverse cast of characters.
This marvelously unusual southern town is drawn so beautifully that, even though the
book is about a murder, you want to go visit the place, as my friend and colleague Kristin and I actually
did. It's really more about a culture, in all its varied complexities, than
about the crime, though it is about the crime, which took place in the Mercer
house, one of the city's most opulent homes in the historic district of Savannah.
The author tells the story of how he took a weekend trip from New York to Savannah
and ended up spending the majority of his time there writing about eccentric
traveling piano players, voodoo practitioners, punk art students, a man who
keeps flies on
strings attached to his clothes, and other such characters. And
ended up in the middle of writing about a murder case.
Just to warn you, this book is fascinating but quite documentary. The author
tells about all sorts of people and events, so if you're squeamish, you may
not want to read it. But if you're interested in an intimate portrait of an
eccentric southern city, this is the book for you.