The Dying Crapshooter's Blues - David Fulmer
In some ways, this is a bit of a novelty, being a crime story that is a standalone novel rather than part of series. That in itself, not to mention the setting (1920's Atlanta) was enough to get this book on my to-be-read list...

The eponymous crapshooter is a man called Little Jesse Williams, who has the misfortune to spend most of the book either dying or dead, having been shot by a white police officer for no apparent reason. Not that Jesse wasn't a criminal, but he was strictly small time and nobody could seem to figure out why anyone would want to kill him.

Add to the mix the subsequent murder of Jesse's killer and a jewel robbery that looks likely to cause serious embarrassment for the new chief of police, then a reluctant investigator: Joe Rose, gambler and former police officer, who stumbles across Jesse soon after he's been shot and whose girl is implicated in the robbery. Against his better judgement Joe promises to find Jesse's killer, not realising quite what he's getting himself into.

'The Dying Crapshooter's Blues' is an enjoyable enough read for anyone who likes historical crime novels, with enough attention to detail in the world-building and a relatively likeable protagonist (Joe, not Jesse!). Even so, I wonder if it feels a little like Joe doesn't quite have enough about him as a character to warrant more stories and that this is why this is a standalone, not because the storyline warranted it.

There are other books in Mr Fulmer's repertoire, however, including a series that starts with 'Chasing the Devil's Tail' (though set slightly earlier in the century and in New Orleans), and I expect I'll try and see if I can pick those up...