When the best blues harp customizer in Texas rushes up the steps of the First Christian Church, he finds the doors have been chained shut. A massive explosion sends him to a Houston hospital where he is charged with the murder of the entire congregation—including his wife and daughter.
Enter Mitty Andersen, ex-investigative reporter turned blues musician, who was talking to him about a new harmonica order just before the church blew up. Sensing that an innocent man is being railroaded by an overzealous lawman, Mitty once again teams up with his “partner in chime,” Pete Bolden, to find out who’s really behind a string of church bombings.
In their quest for justice, the duo form an uneasy alliance with two ATF agents and soon find themselves in the crosshairs of a secret anti-Christian paramilitary organization known as S.O.S.—the Soldiers of Satan. Can Mitty and Pete dodge the wrath and bullets of the S.O.S. operatives sent to take them out long enough to stop the next bombing?
This thrilling sequel to River Bottom Blues lives up to the first book and leaves you hoping for another one!
“An old-fashioned romp through the Texas countryside pitting good against evil. Evil masquerades in black & white, but good is found in bluesmen Mitty Andersen and Pete Bolden—for whom friendship is golden. If you’re a blues fan, you’ll love how the musical references are interwoven in the story. If you’re not, you’ll get enough blues in your blood by osmosis to change your mind.” — James M. Jackson, author, Seamus McCree series
“Blues and crime make pitch-perfect partners once again thanks to the talented pen of Ricky Bush. Turn the lights down low, put on some blues even lower, and lose yourself in The Devil’s Blues.” —P.S. Gifford, author, Curiously Twisted Tales
Ricky Bush has provided this chapter-by-chapter playlist to go along with reading The Devil’s Blues. Just click on each song title to hear the song at YouTube.
|2||She Moves Me||Muddy Waters|
|4||Early in the Morning (’bout the Break of Day)||Sonny Boy Williamson II|
|10||Bring it on Home||Sonny Boy Williamson II|
|Precious Lord Take My Hand||Thomas Dorsey with Mahalia Jackson|
|A Change is Gonna Come||Sam Cooke with Otis Redding|
|I Shall be Released||Bob Dylan|
|15||Off the Wall||Little Walter|
|Fields of Gold||Eva Cassidy|
|Born Under a Bad Sign||Albert King|
|Baby Please Don’t Go||Big Joe Williams|
|21||Death Letter Blues||Eddie “Son” House|
|23||The Creeper||James Cotton|
|Roller Coaster||Little Walter|
|25||Walter’s Boogie||Big Walter Horton|
|26||Santa’s Messin’ With The Kid||Eddie C. Campbell|
|Blue Christmas||Elvis Presley|
|Who’s Been Talking||Howlin’ Wolf|
|She Moves Me||Muddy Waters|
|29||Laundromat Blues||Albert King|
|31||The Creeper Returns||Little Sonny|
|38||Spirit in the Sky||Norman Greenbaum|
|Sympathy for the Devil||Rolling Stones|
|39||Rollin’ & Tumblin’||Muddy Waters|
|40||Crosscut Saw Blues||Tommy McClennan|
Jerry Roberts slammed the door to his pickup and sprinted across the gravel parking lot of the Grapeville First Christian Church. Dang it! Late for church again. Millie is gonna kill me!
He shouldn’t have answered the phone this morning and gotten caught up in business. He should have left for Sunday services with his wife and daughter. Millie frowned as he took the call, but said nothing as she picked up her keys, kissed him on the forehead, and walked out to the garage. Sixteen-year-old Jennifer blew him a kiss and followed her mom.
Jerry bounded up the steps to the church, and the sound of squealing tires slinging gravel turned his head. Who was driving like the devil in the church parking lot? He watched a black panel van fishtail out of the parking lot onto the blacktop, then turned back to the front doors of the church and found a locked chain wound through the handles. Were they locking out late-comers now?
He walked to the side of the building and found that the three doors there were also chained shut as if it were the middle of the night. There had been threats against the church in the last month and the pastor insisted that the doors be locked from the inside and chained on the outside when the church was empty. He noticed SOS had been crudely scratched into the door directly above the chain.
He walked back to the front, surveyed the parking lot to confirm that it was filled with the congregation’s cars as it would be on a Sunday, and pulled on the chain’s lock to see if it would open. It wouldn’t.
He could hear loud voices being raised in song; a split second later the doors blew open with a fierce concussion that knocked him fifteen feet down the sidewalk and onto his back. It felt as if his lungs had completely collapsed, and that his head had split open on impact. He was just able to lift his head up long enough to see a fireball consume the front foyer of his church. He could hear people screaming, but he was unable to move. Then his world faded away from him.