Whether their cover bands play Willie Dixon or Willie Nelson, juke joints and honky-tonks appeal to hard-working men and women looking for a good time. Offering hot music, cheap food, and generous amounts of liquor, jukes and tonks are often a community’s unofficial gathering spot, where Saturday nights are spent committing the sins church leaders rail against the following morning.
The stories in Jukes & Tonks introduce you to many sinners and few saints, love begun and love gone wrong, and all manner of unsavory criminal endeavors. What the stories have in common is that they plop you down in worlds where the music pulsating from the compact stage—if there’s a stage at all—provides the backbeat for tales that are unsparing, heartbreaking, twisty, and a few are as dark as the night, and the blinking sign offering live music is an invitation to the unexpected.
Contributors include Trey R. Barker, Michael Bracken, Jonathan Brown, S.A. Cosby, John M. Floyd, Debra H. Goldstein, Gar Anthony Haywood, Penny Mickelbury, Gary Phillips, William Dylan Powell, Kimberly B. Richardson, and Stacy Woodson.
Praise for JUKES & TONKS:
“The world needs more jukes, more tonks, and more fine crime fiction—and this fast-paced playlist from Michael Bracken and Gary Phillips offers all of the above and then some. It’s a #1 hit…with a bullet!” —Josh Pachter, editor of The Great Filling Station Holdup: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Songs of Jimmy Buffett
“While twists abound and nothing is predictable, one thing is certain: Jukes & Tonks transports the reader to a world where the drinks are cheap, the dancing is close, and the music reigns supreme.” —Holly West, Anthony Award-nominated editor of Murder-a-Go-Go’s: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Music of The Go-Go’s