Sixty years after 1930s bluesman Robert Johnson—who, as legend has it, sold his soul to the devil at a Mississippi crossroads—was murdered after a gig at a Greenwood, Mississippi, juke joint, a college professor following rumors of nine unknown Johnson recordings goes missing in the Delta. Ex–New Orleans Saint-turned-Tulane University blues historian Nick Travers is sent to find him. Clues point to everyone from an eccentric albino named Cracker to a seventeen-year-old hitman who believes he is the second coming of Elvis Presley.
A modern, Southern reinvention of The Maltese Falcon, Crossroad Blues impressed noir fans with its nod to the masters Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett and intrigued blues lovers with its meticulous attention to detail. But most of all, with richly drawn characters, a tight plot, and snappy dialogue, Crossroad Blues is a timeless story told well.