It is early September 2019 as Jordan’s Branch: A Willie Black Novel by Howard Owen begins. Reporter Willie Black knew that Stick Davis has been dead for quite a while when he sees the body. More than half a dozen times somebody shot the man. Once someone had thoroughly through ventilated Stick David, he or she left, and now Willie Black has found the body.


Finding the body is seen by some as proof that he did it. The fact that the man still owed Willie forty-five thousand to write his autobiography gives him motive in the minds of some folks. The fact they have a long history and got along does not seem to play into those considerations.


For most in journalism, it is a recognized fact that the reporter should never be part of the story. For Wille Black, he is very much part of the story. His bosses at the steadily shrinking paper do not like that fact or the fact that he is a suspect. That includes the current publisher, Ben Stine, who has a few thoughts about that issue and others.


As long-time readers know, this isn’t the first time Willie Black has been suspected of a crime by the police. Over the years, he has made his bosses wonder more than a few things about him. One would think by now that all involved would know better.


Willie Black knows that he has to investigate to clear his name. It does not take Willie long before things start escalating. Playing fast and loose with the questions might get him killed.


The latest in this long running series is another solidly good read. Jordan’s Branch: A Willie Black Novel by Howard Owen brings back a number of characters long familiar to readers in a read filled with societal observations and commentary. Those societal observations serve as background while never getting in the way of the main mystery of Jordan’s Branch: A Willie Black Novel.


Strongly recommended.




I received a PDF of the book from the publisher with no expectation of a review.


Kevin R. Tipple ©2021

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