- File Size: 2447 KB
- Print Length: 58 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Millennial Concepts Publishing (July 21, 2013)
- Publication Date: July 21, 2013
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00E3GZONK
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,558,012 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Rag Baby (A Bone Mizell Mystery) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 58 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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I wasn’t prepared for how much I enjoyed Mark Ellis’s crime novella Rag Baby. Not that I doubted Ellis’s ability, but I am a jaded reader of crime fiction and he is most familiar to me as a writer of sci-fi/adventure (under the pen name James Axler). It turns out that Ellis's skill for bringing alien worlds to life serves him equally well here.
Many writers have successfully tackled the beaches and coves of Florida’s humid coastal pleasure regions, but no one (in my experience) has brought Florida's inland cracker/cattle country so vividly to life as Ellis. The author must be intimately familiar with (real) places like Yeehaw Junction and the diverse, reaching, hard-scrabble characters that populate his "fictional" world.
Our guide thru this alien land is retired DEA agent Bonaparte "Bone" Mizell (pronounced MY-zell), whose family tree has deep roots in central Florida's cattle and cannabis industries. The crime here is almost secondary to the character play, and one gets the sense that Rag Baby is just a dry run to what (I hope) will be a broader series. Mark Ellis has finally done for Florida what James Lee Burke did for Louisiana -- strip clubs, Dixie mafia, and all -- and I hope he will revisit the region soon.
Post script: I should add that I purchased Rag Baby for Kindle with the Audible narration-ready option and I'm so glad I did. This option marries the audiobook and Kindle version of Rag Baby, allowing the reader to jump back and forth between both versions of the book and even follow along in the ebook as the narrator reads to you. I listened to the audiobook, and then immediately re-read it a second time. Highly recommended.
Bonaparte "Bone" Mizell is a retired DEA agent, security consultant, and unofficial private eye who's hired by a strip club owner and gangster to deal with a blackmailer. Soon enough, in classic hardboiled fashion, Bone finds himself involved in a twisty yarn including murder, drugs, and a deranged Iraq war vet who seems to have come back from the dead. The plot has enough surprises to be effective, but where Ellis really shines is in the relentless pacing of the story, the vivid depiction of its scruffy central Florida setting, and its rugged, likable hero. I suspect Bone Mizell will be making a return appearance in the future, and I'm certainly looking forward to reading more about him. For now, if you're a fan of hardboiled crime fiction, I recommend you check out "Rag Baby", which is available in a very affordable e-book edition.
He gets a visit from a couple of biker types sent to bring him to Dale.
Things aren't going well so far.
Dale, all four hundred pounds of him, is about to open a club in Florida called the Yippee Yeehaw, which should tell you all you need to know. He claims to be being blackmailed by his ex-stripper wife's first husband, long declared dead in military service in the Middle East, but now seemingly alive.
Dale wants Bone to find the man and straighten it all out. He's planning on political office and this could be an embarrassment.
Dead bodies start turning up, either witnesses Bone has already talked to or ones he wanted to interview, and an attempt is made on his own life.
Bone gets angry and starts hunting himself.
Not a bad little tale here. Ready for more.
In other words, Bone Mizell is a damn welcome addition to the pantheon of hardboiled private eyes. It's no mystery who will enjoy this brisk page-turner: anyone who enjoys the classic hardboiled style. It's got thugs and blood and guns and strippers and murder ... seriously, what more do you need to know?
Mark Ellis’s writing style is very cinematic; his prose is crisp and clear. “Rag Baby” has more plot, character and style in its brief 58 pages than any “bestseller” out there weighing in at a padded 500 pages or more.
The ending will leave you wanting to see more of main character Bone Mizell.