SAVE THE LAST DANCE FOR ME by Ed Gorman
A SAM McCAIN MYSTERY
Carroll & Craf Publishers, 2002
Sam McCain, attorney and sometimes investigator for Judge Esme Whitney, thinks that he's seen a lot--but he's never seen a church full of people sticking their hands in a box of rattlesnakes before. When the church's minister dies suddenly, everyone thinks one of the snakes got him--but McCain suspects murder. When a second minister suddenly dies, he's certain there is a connection, but exactly what the connection is, and who might be doing the killing remains unclear. In the meantime, McCain has to learn to deal with the strong attraction he feels toward married Kylie Burke.
SAVE THE LAST DANCE FOR ME is set in small-town Iowa during the 1960 Kennedy/Nixon election and Nixon's upcoming visit is very much on the minds of the characters. The conservatives in town are worried about Catholics and Jews uniting to overthrow the nation if Kennedy is elected, and jazz and rock and roll are hitting their stride. Author Ed Gorman (click here to see reviews of other books by Ed Gorman) presents this earlier America not as a nostalgic dream, nor as a nightmare, but as a past that is well left behind.
Gorman does a fine job developing Sam McCain as an interesting and multidimensional character. His writing style is enjoyable and compelling. It'll make you want to keep reading. I found some of Gorman's observations to be a little cynical and condescending for my taste, but this didn't keep me from laughing out loud a couple of times or from enjoying SAVE THE LAST DANCE FOR ME.
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