Many years ago, I committed a state and a federal crime.  I didn’t realize it at the time but, as they say, ignorance is no excuse.  Here’s the ‘trailer’ I produced for the book.

The crime?  I illegally recorded a phone conversation.  It lasted about six minutes and thirty seconds.  And it’s fabulous.  Flash forward some years and I decide that, you know what?  Crime CAN pay.  So I used the tape (verbatim, except for names) as the center point of a blackmail scheme.  Not a REAL blackmail scheme, a fictional one.  The result: RADIO ACTIVITY.  A book that is available for free in the Kindle lending library and is a downright bargain if you just gotta own it.

It’s the first of two “Rick Shannon” novels (the second being Highway 61 Resurfaced).  The books follow a disillusioned FM rock deejay, a guy who remembers what the radio world was like before deregulation, when rock stations played thousands of songs, not the same 200 over and over and over.

In any event, Rick finds this TAPE… And before you can say, ‘I’m sick and tired of hearing Free Bird’ Rick has become an amateur sleuth.  And, as if that’s not enough, Rick and his staff redefine ‘classic rock.’

My dear friend (and best-selling writer), Jill Conner Browne said the book is “Fast, funny, and fabulous.  This is Fitzhugh’s finest, and that’s saying a lot!”

Thanks, Jill.  Then it was time to write Rick Shannon’s next adventure.  It opens in Vicksburg, MS and takes us through most of the Mississippi Delta and a lot of blues history.    So, what did the New York Times say?

“Fitzhugh’s satire isn’t subtle, but it’s hilarious – and dead on. In sending Rick [Shannon] up and down the Delta in search of Blind Buddy Cotton, Crippled Willie Jefferson, Crazy Earl Tate and the missing tape of their collaboration. . . Fitzhugh treats us to a tragicomic tour of regional black-and-blues history. Fitzhugh, born and reared in Mississippi, has a belly full of feeling for the songs and legends of his Southern musical heritage. But where he really shows his artistry is in his richly comic, warmly affectionate character studies of battered old men with long experience in living – not just playing – the blues.”

The New York Times

But my favorite review was from the great music writer, Greil Marcus, who said “A lost tapes mystery — all blues mysteries are lost-tapes mysteries — but unlike the rest, this pays off with a climax so rich you want to hear the tapes as much as the people hunting them down.”

You gotta like that!