A Murder in Passing

A Murder in Passing In Asheville North Carolina the Blackman Robertson Detective Agency faces a disturbing reality no clients Sam Blackman finds inactivity intolerable So when partner Nakayla Robertson suggests a mushr

  • Title: A Murder in Passing
  • Author: Mark de Castrique
  • ISBN: 9781464201493
  • Page: 169
  • Format: Hardcover
  • In Asheville, North Carolina, the Blackman Robertson Detective Agency faces a disturbing reality no clients Sam Blackman finds inactivity intolerable So when partner Nakayla Robertson suggests a mushroom hunt on the site of an historic, freed slave commune called The Kingdom of the Happy Land, Sam reluctantly agrees When he stumbles across a skeleton, his adventIn Asheville, North Carolina, the Blackman Robertson Detective Agency faces a disturbing reality no clients Sam Blackman finds inactivity intolerable So when partner Nakayla Robertson suggests a mushroom hunt on the site of an historic, freed slave commune called The Kingdom of the Happy Land, Sam reluctantly agrees When he stumbles across a skeleton, his adventure mushrooms into a case of murder But it isn t his case He has no client, and the local authorities tell him to butt out Then Marsha Montgomery comes to the office asking Sam and Nakayla to investigate a burglary at her mother s home Someone stole a rifle and a photograph of Marsha s mother, grandmother, and great grandmother taken in 1932 by renowned photographer Doris Ulmann The site of the photograph is The Kingdom of the Happy Land The date of the burglary, 1967 Marsha s visit is no coincidence Sam s being played But why When Marsha s eighty five year old mother Lucille is arrested for murder, Sam has his answer and his case Is the skeleton that of Jimmy Lang, Marsha s white father and her mother s lover, who disappeared in 1967 right after interracial couples were allowed to marry in North Carolina Jimmy s brother says no Jimmy left to seek his fortune after Lucille rejected his marriage proposal But others stood to gain from his disappearance A veil of betrayal and deceit hides a killer desperate to protect a dark secret, and no one, not even Sam, is safe from the deadly consequences of a murder in passing.

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      Published :2020-05-07T09:52:38+00:00

    About “Mark de Castrique

    • Mark de Castrique

      Mark de Castrique is an author, playwright, public speaker, and television producer living in Charlotte.Through his company MARK et al he writes, shoots, and edits projects for a variety of clients.His work has earned CLIO, TELLY, and EMMY awards.Mark has scripted stories aired on PBS and commercial network affiliates, as well as created video presentations for major corporations.

    298 thoughts on “A Murder in Passing

    • First Sentence: “So, where are we going?”Investigators Sam Blackman and Nakayla Robertson head out looking for mushrooms on the site of an historic, freed-slave commune called The Kingdom of the Happy Land. In addition to mushrooms, Sam also finds a body. Wedged inside a rotting log with a spent bullet, this was no natural death. When Marsha Montgomery asks the pair to investigate the 1967 theft of a rifle and photograph, taken on the same site, Sam becomes suspicious. His concerns are reali [...]


    • Wonderful addition to the series!! I just hope Sam and Nakayla's relationship advances to the next level in the next book!!


    • When Sam trips over a skeleton on a mushroom hunt, the story begins. He and Nakayla find out who killed the gentleman in the log. The story contains context of the era of miscegenation and people passing for white. It gives a vivid picture of the attitudes of the sixties and how much has changed yet still is the same. The history of the Kingdom of the Happy land is something I never heard of. It is An interesting part of the story that is well tied into it. The characters remain interesting, Hew [...]


    • I picked up this book since it was set in Asheville NC.I really liked the backstory of the detective, Sam Blackman, a Wounded Warrior.Since this is the third book in a series, there is reference to previous cases and characters who were involved in the earlier books. It's great for both a new reader and one who may not remember all the details of the previous books. An added bonus was that the author refers to a lot of local restaurants that are located in Asheville.The only reason I gave it 4 s [...]


    • A Treasure Every Sam Blackman mystery I have read has been a masterpiece. The reverence for veterans alone makes the books worthwhile. But the stories are wonderful, and the characters are exquisitely drawn. I can't wait to read the next one


    • Another solid book by Mark de Castrique. If you love the Asheville, NC area, you should read this series. Do yourself a favor and start at the first book though. Would be hard to follow what's going on if you aren't invested in the characters.


    • First Line: "So, where are we going?"It's a legitimate question. The Blackman and Robertson Detective Agency of Asheville, North Carolina has no clients, and the inactivity is driving Sam Blackman nuts. So crazy that he grudgingly agrees to join his business partner and lover Nakayla Robertson on a mushroom hunt on the historic site of The Kingdom of the Happy Land, a freed-slave commune. His search for fungi leads to the discovery of a body, but since The Kingdom of the Happy Land straddles the [...]


    • A quick read, with a nice twist to the plot and a little history thrown in."In Asheville, North Carolina, the Blackman & Robertson Detective Agency faces a disturbing reality – no clients. Sam Blackman finds inactivity intolerable. So when partner Nakayla Robertson suggests a mushroom hunt on the site of an historic, freed-slave commune called The Kingdom of the Happy Land, Sam reluctantly agrees. When he stumbles across a skeleton, his adventure mushrooms into a case of murder. But it isn [...]


    • Oh, for a half star. Mark de Castrique's mysteries are fun to read because they are set in my own backyard. It is as tiny thrill to see your favorite restaurant or hangout pop up here and there as the tale unfolds. This is probably not much of a novelty for those who live in a place like NYC, but lil' old Hendersonville it is a gas. In this case the killing field is a wooded grove in The Kingdom of the Happy Land. A commune founded by freed slaves which straddles North and South Carolina, The Ki [...]


    • The Blackman-Robertson mysteries are rooted in South Carolina history. In previous novels, such landmarks as Carl Sandburg’s farm played a role. Other links included Thomas Wolfe and F. Scott Fitzgerald. In this book, it is a photo taken 80 years before by a famous woman photographer, Doris Ulmann, the subjects of which were three blacks, mother, daughter and five-year-old Marsha Montgomery, and some boys. Marsha retains Sam Blackman and Nakayla Robertson to find the photo which she claims was [...]


    • Full review here : fridaynirvana/fiction/Source : Netgalley/Publisher ARCRating : 3.8/5This book is part of Mark de Castrique’s “Sam Blackman” series – this is the 4th book – but reads well as a standalone mystery. Although there are references to previous events they are fairly well-explained, so you actually don’t feel left-out. Sam Blackman, his partner Nakayla Robertson and lawyer Hewitt Donaldson are nicely-etched out characters and very likeable. Sam has a great sense of humor [...]


    • #4 in the Sam Blackman series. Sam was a Chief Warrant Officer in Army CID until he lost a leg in Iraq. Now he is a private detective in Asheville, NC with his partner/love interest Nakayla Robertson (as developed in previous series entries). The tone of the series is set by his bantering with Nakayla and with Hewitt Donaldson, the brilliant, leftover hippie, defense lawyer, who has an adjoining office. The mid-thirties Sam also has a very respectful, on-going relationship with the residents of [...]


    • History, race relations, and persistent attitude are all blended in this fine story. With sensitivity and care the author has developed a believable inter-race relationship story of love and sacrifice. As the title suggests, murder is also part of the mix.With few clients in hand, Sam Blackman and Nakalya Robertson need some outlet for their energy. Connecting with an outdoor mushroom-searching band, Sam stumbles over a skeleton that appears to be quite old. The discovery sets in motion inquirie [...]


    • With two other books in progress when my copy of Passing arrived, I really should have put de Castrique's asside until I finished what was on my plate. But who could practice all that deferred gratification when Sam and Nakayla are out and about in Asheville again? Certainly not me. So, I devoured the story like a chocolate Sunday with fresh whipped cream, and now my dish is empty.That's okay though. The story was finely tuned and it was great to visit with my old friends from Asheville again. I [...]


    • Sam Blackman and Nakayla Robertson are still going strong in this (the fourth) book about their detective agency and relationship. Right now they aren't overly busy so are out with the local mushroom hunting group when Sam stumbles upon a skeleton in a rotted tree stump. Soon after, Lucille and her daughter show up looking for help locating an old photo by a famous photographer that was stolen 40 years prior. What do these incidents have to do with each other? Well, lets say they aren't a comple [...]


    • Once again, a book packed with constant twists on a clever plot and engaging, enjoyable characters. I love how the author keeps bring back characters from previous books, creating a community feel to the books rather than a series. I also appreciate that the relationship hasn't been the focus of any of the stories so far. I've enjoyed some books that featured explicit sex scenes but that always seems to take away from the mystery itself, which is what I prefer to read. Would definitely recommend [...]


    • What I liked most about this book was the setting, and the real-life historical details. It was pretty good as a mystery, especially the ending. This is the first one I've read by this author - will try some more when I get time.I really appreciated the Acknowledgements, which gave plenty of detail about what was real and how he knew, for example the Kingdom of the Happy Land:kingdomofthehappyland.wordpre


    • Out of the Army, private investigator Sam Blackman is on a mushroom hunt with his partner when he finds the skeleton of a murdered man. He becomes involved in the historical mystery when he's hired to find evidence about the crime for the 85-year-old woman that the district attorney is charging with murder. Appalachian history and race relations are constant themes as Sam becomes more deeply involved when a new friend is shot.


    • Sam Blackman and his partner and girlfriend Nakayla Robertson who own Blackman & Robinson Detective Agency go on a mushroom hunt at a former commune started by a black man after the Civil War. Sam falls into a dead tree in the ground and discovers a body. Whose body is it? Sam and Nakayla take us back in time to the early 20th century when mixed marriages are not allowed.It is a exciting hunt for the killer years later. A good fast read. Characters are real and colorful.


    • Fast-paced mystery with real historical references and people interwoven into a fictional crime. Believable (and often funny) characters. Enjoyable conversation banter with some remarks that had me laughing out loud ("struck the deputy with all the force of an airborne dandelion seed"). A very good quick read!


    • It is hard not to like a book where one actually know some of the characters. This another Sam Blackburn mystery, set largely in Henderson County. The plot gets a bit complicated, but enjoyed the descriptions of places and people that I know. Read the book in one day---on last day of vacation flying back home.


    • This is a very elegant rerun of a well-tried plot device with a pleasingly positive spin on a man making the best of his life after losing his leg. It's well worth reading.opionator.wordpress/2013/0


    • A great installment on the Sam Blackman and Nakayla Robertson series.Well worth the read - these books have lots of history and action.I have all four of the books in the series and plan to start on his other series ***spoiler*** so glad all was well with Jason******


    • This is another wonderful story by Mark de Castrique. I enjoyed the writing and was interested in the various side embellishments, such as mushroom hunting and the Kingdom of the Happy Land settlement. I have to admit that I am a sucker for PI stories, and I love these characters.


    • The Sam Blackman "A Murder in Passing" is the 4th book in the series. The setting once again is in Asheville, NC. The history and violence of the 1960's against the mutilation of war in today's time. The characters come alive with their lives, mystery, and heartbreaks. Well worth the read.




    • What a great read. Thoroughly entertaining and socially relevant. Well -paced and very well written. Excellent sense of place in Asheville, NC, as well.



    • Mystery, history, and Asheville these are a few of my favorite things. Probably my favorite of the series so far.


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