Gerald Duff’s deliciously original thriller, spiced with wit, smoked with southern atmosphere, and served bloody.
“A tangy tale of murder, gang warfare, crack cocaine, and barbecue,” Entertainment Weekly
It’s May in Memphis, and four bloody murders occur on the eve of the International BBQ Contest and the Cotton Carnival: a conventioneer is stabbed at an ATM machine, a gang leader and his girlfriend are executed, and a wealthy local businessman is killed in his own home while his bodyguard is napping outside the door. It’s up to homicide detective J.W. Ragsdale to solve these seemingly unconnected crimes without scaring away the tourists who are arriving in droves. That’s not going to be easy. Ragsdale’s investigation pits him against a crack-dealing gang in the midst of a bloody drug war, a Memphis BBQ king struggling to hold on to his crumbling empire, a shotgun-wielding assassin, an East Coast mobster with a taste for BBQ and the blues, and the newly crowned Maid of Cotton, who will do anything to keep her tiara.
“Duff is a Southern Elmore Leonard, only he’s a lot funnier,” Lee Smith
“The book is worth reading for the dialogue alone,” Washington Post
“Hits the jackpot…prose as laid back Southern as a hound dog napping under the porch. As sweet and satisfying as a barbecue dinner, without the fat,” Booklist
“Memphis Ribs combines crime and enough dark humor to make readers guffaw and hope nobody heard them,” Associated Press
“Reminiscent of the best of Joe R. Lansdale and the late Elmore Leonard… a crime fiction entrée well worth ordering up,” Bookgasm
“Expert plotting, pitch-perfect dialect and sparkling dialogue…I can’t think of anyone else who has blended to perfection such a marinade of satiric humor and an expertly crafted police procedural…a completely entertaining novel,” Arkansas Democrat Gazette
“This is literary fiction masquerading as a police procedural. There’s plenty of pork shoulder to go around…and laugh-out-loud humor. It makes for a diverting read. I give it 12 ribs and a side of baked beans,” Memphis Flyer