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Where Southern Cross the Dog Hardcover – October 1, 2010

15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

''It May Be Fiction, But It Is On Point. If you haven t already, picking up a copy of Allen Whitley s Where Southern Cross The Dog book is well worth it. It s hard to put into words the importance or the impact of a book like this. What Whitley has done is wrapped up something of a modern day-type murder mystery set in the 30 s in Clarksdale. I guess that doesn t make it modern, but for me, it makes it good.''--Jason Rewald, TheDeltaBlues.com

''I love a good story and anything that keeps people listening to the blues.'' --Pinetop Perkins, bluesman, and winner of countless awards including the 2005 Grammy winner for Lifetime Achievement Award

''A cleverly woven tale ingeniously linking events in pre-war Europe to hardship and pain in the Mississippi Delta, where cotton was king. And listening to the accompanying CD makes me feel like I'm standing on a corner in downtown Clarksdale, whiling the day away.'' --Cody Davis, author of Implied Consent and Green 61

''Set in Coahoma County Mississippi's dusty and sweltering heat, is this summer's great new novel, Where Southern Cross the Dog. Author Allen Whitley smoothly sets the mood for his story with an accompanying CD of field worker and prisoner ''hollers'' and blues artist and writers' epigraphs at the beginning of each chapter. All serve as reminders of the social and cultural circumstance of the time, and the source of birthing pangs that will eventually be recognized as the Delta Blues.'' --Carey Harrison Weeks, Scribd.com

About the Author

Allen Whitley works in the field of environmental sustainability and has published numerous articles. He serves on the board of directors for Goodwill Industries of Central Texas and is a former board member of the Writers' League of Texas. Through his first novel, Where Southern Cross the Dog, he seeks to bring the rich history of blues to a wider audience and raise money for two worthy causes.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 376 pages
  • Publisher: Emerald Book Company (October 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934572411
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934572412
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.4 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,595,430 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Through my first novel, Where Southern Cross the Dog, I sought to bring the rich history of blues to a wider audience and raise funds for two worthy causes. And while the book is set in 1938, the war plays only a small part in this thriller. This story is really a murder mystery with a little romance woven in.

I hope you find the read as enjoyable as the many visits to Mississippi I took while doing the research. As for some trivia, the character of Bill Montgomery was taken from an anecdote my father told me regarding someone he knew in the Air Force. Col. George "Buzz" Birdsong's father was the coroner of Coahoma County in the 20's. During that period, coroners were elected not appointed so one didn't have to be a doctor. Visit the web site for more information: www.allenwhitley.com.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Allen Whitley has really knocked one out of the park on this novel. The book is set in Clarksdale, Mississippi, known as "ground zero" for blues music, because of the great many bluesmen and music to come from the area. The characters are rich and entertaining, and the book starts out on a slow simmer, much like being the Mississippi Delta. The novel fires up fast, however, and before long, it's nearly impossible to put down as the characters find themselves in the midst of suspense, murder, nazis, and mississippi river boat chases. The segments between the two main characters, Travis and Hannah, are an expertly written story of affection against all odds and societal norms, and the suspenseful tones of the novel will keep any reader yearning for just one... more... chapter...

Overall it's a fantastic book, one that immerses the reader in the endless cotton rows, diverse and captivating characters, and infectiously simple and entertaining rituals of the Mississippi delta. This is one of the few novels that can be read time and again. Allen Whitley does a praiseworthy job of capturing the heart of the Mississippi delta, and bringing the reader into not only a day-by-day, Jim Crow-era delta, but also world of mystery, suspense, and endearing characters.
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By Exlaw on December 23, 2013
Format: Hardcover
After reading all the five-star reviews, noting the blues quote chapter headings and downloading the blues field recordings, I was expecting a novel that perhaps integrated something of the spirit, if not the letter, of the early delta blues. Instead, we get minimalist chapter headings that, as far as I can see, have nothing to do with the novel, certainly do no imbue it with anything of the deep mystery and beauty of the blues, and one gratuitous reference to the infamous Highway 61. Nor did I find anything particularly moving about the writing. It was clear enough, simple and prosaic, but gave a sense that the book was addressed to teen readers. I was expecting something a bit more Southern, poetic perhaps, and darker. The two lead protagonists are so good and pure - and young - that I had the impression more of the Hardy Boys meet Nancy Drew than of 1938 Mississippi. And maybe I'm just a little bit warped by having read too much crime fiction, but this whole thing about teenagers wrapping up a murder and espionage spree, without resort to "the law" is just a little much. See Hardy Boys, above. If you want to get a truer, darker, more poetic picture of Depression era Mississippi, go to the blues. Check out the reissues on Yazoo and Document.
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By Jeanne on August 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover
If you wonder--or remember--how a small Southern town felt right before World War II, when segregation was a fact of life and inquiring minds kept their mouths shut, you'll appreciate this deftly executed first novel. Whitley has crafted believable and memorable characters to serve an intricate plot that combines, among other things, young love, murder, espionage, small-town justice, and the blues. (You get music to go with it.) I especially liked his handling of below-the-radar people, even the bad guys. They are not caricatures, by a long shot; they are very carefully drawn. That's not to slight the main players, who kept me turning pages as the plot rushed along to its big surprise. Can't wait to see the movie!
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By SDS on November 24, 2010
Format: Hardcover
What a great, easy read. Whitley does a masterful job of developing both the characters and the storyline to the point where you don't want to put the book down. You feel like you are in the heart of the South where the Blues were born. Having been to that part of the country, it was easy for my imagination to take and keep me right in the middle of the action. The added BONUS, if you are lover of the Blues, is the CD that comes with this book. 20 cuts of rarely heard Blues tracts. What other author gives you a great read and a CD. Brilliant.
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Format: Hardcover
Allen Whitley has truly captured the essence of the Deep South in his first novel Where Southern Cross the Dog. His descriptions of the landscape make the reader feel as if they are actually experiencing Civil Rights era Mississippi first hand.

Most Southerners know the story of how musician Robert Johnson made a deal with the devil at the crossroads. Whitley, however brings insight into the lives of musicians that are not widely known while weaving a tale of murder, race, and in the end, love. It is truly a fantastic read!
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By L. W. Duddy on July 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I can't say enough about the writing talent Mr. Whitley showcases in his debut novel. Whether he's in the mind of a Klan member, an aged African American grandmother, or an inventor enthralled with Hitler, the author writes convincingly, cleverly, and compassionately. Months after reading Southern I can still "hear" the characters and recall heartfelt, imaginative lines. Buy this book: it will be a gift to yourself and you'll be giving to the Mississippi Blues community to boot!
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By B Burtner on November 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover
an easy page turner that draws the reader in and sets you on the hunt for the killer--with easy prose that flows and hooks you and then a very helpful map to keep you oriented as you follow the dips and turns to a satisfying conclusion--the author managed to take this reader not only to a southern locale, but also to make the smells and sounds and vibe of a place come to life through the printed word--not bad for a first time writer --in fact, it's quite an accomplishment
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