Ed Lynskey

PI Frank Johnson is a divorced thirty-something who in his firstadventure, The Dirt-Brown Derby (Mundania Press, August 2006),solved the murder of a girl allegedly killed in a horse-ridingaccident.Weary of his hometown of Pelham, Virginia, Frank has moved tothe West Virginia mountains. Amid all this alpine slendor, hehas grown lax and carefree, but that's about to change.While Frank is fixing dinner, he hears a bizarre hum flying over his cabin. He races outside and gapes up as a Stinger rocketblasts something out of the twilight sky. His hopes for a new,tranquil life go up with the explosion’s smoke and fire.
Frank telephones Old Man Maddox, a retiree neighbor with a CIAbackground, for aid and they go report the incident to theincredulous sheriff’s department in nearby Scarab, WestVirginia. Prickly and persistent, Frank relies on his criminalinvestigative skills and soon catches wind of a hate cultcalling themselves “The Blue Cheer”. The Blue Cheer hastargeted Frank for knowing about the Stinger rocket. After theapathetic sheriff blows him off, Frank opts to act on his ownand go after The Blue Cheer.A subplot is Frank’s cousin Rod Bellwether on death row atBitterroot Prison in Virginia reaching out for Frank’s help. Time runs short for Rod but his claims of innocence for nothaving slain his wife seem credible enough. Frank drives downto visit Rod and reluctantly agrees to assist him.
However,once in his mountain retreat, Frank would rather forget aboutRod’s problems. Rod soon breaks out of prison and comes lookingfor Frank. Keep an eye on Rod. Of course Frank doesn't have to go it alone. He calls in helpfrom Gerald Peyton, a bail bond enforcer from his hometown.Events soon heat up in this backwoods romp and in a suprisingtwist the climax comes on dark, cold mountaintop. The Blue Cheer is written in a stylish, modern hardboiled voice.Its topical interest is based on my own professional expertise.
For 18 years I wrote the technical manuals for building theStinger rockets. My research includes interviews with the WestVirginia Chief Medical Examiner, West Virginia State Police,West Virginia Clerk of Court, a forensic pathologist, and anautopsy assistant.Frank also has time to engage in other pursuits like gunsmithingand reading the Old Pulp masters like Charles Williams and EdLacy. A third PI Frank Johnson title, Pelham Fell Here is due out in2007 and a fourth book, Troglodytes, will appear in 2008. TheBlue Cheer was edited by 2006 EDGAR-nominee Al Guthrie.
A fewdustjacket blurbs appear below.
“It isn’t often that a genuinely new ‘voice’ enters crimefiction, but that compliment definitely captures Frank Johnson,the hero of The Blue Cheer. Author Ed Lynskey chooses a WestVirginia setting for this debut in novel-length format, and itproves a resounding success.” --Shamus Award-winner Jeremiah Healy, author of PI John FrancisCuddy mysteries
"This is a New Wave Gold Medal novel, intricate, harrowing, richin people good and bad, ripe with nasty surprise. Something newin New Wave. A fine, fine debut." --Ellery Queen and Shamus Award-winner Ed Gorman, author of TheDay the Music Died, Wake Up Little Susie, and Will You Love MeTomorrow?
“Fast-paced and gripping, with well-drawn characters and avividly described background, The Blue Cheer is a strong noirdebut reminiscent of the work of Philip Atlee and others in thegolden stable of Gold Medal writers. I look forward to EdLynskey's next.” -- Macavity and Shamus Award-winner Bill Pronzini, author ofNameless Detective mysteries
“The Blue Cheer is as well-written and well-plotted an exampleof the new Appalachian noir. An excellent debut!”--Anthony and Shamus-nominee John Lescroart, New York Times bestselling author of The Second Chair, The Hearing, and TheOath.
“This pure sheer first rate mystery, the reason why we read thegenre, and as long as we have such stunninggrab-you-by-the-collar-and-not-let-go narrative, the future ofmystery is not only assured, it’s damn essential.” --Macavity and Shamus-winner Ken Bruen, author of Jack Taylorseries and White Trilogy