Murder With Southern Hospitality:
An Exhibition of Mississippi Mysteries

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Neo-Noir in Mississippi

Martin Hegwood

Autsets his popular Jack Delmas series on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, his childhood home. Biloxi and its environs have changed quite a bit since Hegwood shrimped off the Coast with his parents as a child. In the early 1990s, gambling money moved in as an onslaught of casinos dotted the Mississippi Gulf coastline. In Hedwood’s fiction, glitzy exteriors and seedy operators threaten the Gulf’s working class ethos. His main character, Jack Delmas is a man who would much rather sip a cool one off of Ship Island than work. Delmas usually becomes involved in dangerous situations thanks to the undue influence of beautiful, ruthless, and occasionally blindingly stupid women. Hegwood acknowledges the influence of authors such as John D. MacDonald and James Lee Burke and their gritty, realistic characterizations of men caught in uncontrollable situations.

Of note, the annotated t, “ The Backroad to Big Easy” features a page from an early draft of Big-Easy Backroad in which Martin Hegwood experiments with the nom de plume, Wesley Sanders. The paste-up cover features heavy annotations to the layout and suggestions by the art director for changes. Notes regarding the color, layout, and other specifications fill all available space on the draft of the book jacket.

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