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David Fuller has been a screenwriter for 25 years, and he spent eight years researching this novel, research that led to the discovery that one of his own ancestors fought in the Civil War and was a slave owner.
Shortlisted for the John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger 2009. CWA Judges’ comments: ‘Sweetsmoke is an American Civil War drama. Cassius, a slave at Sweetsmoke tobacco plantation, is determined to track down the murderer of a freed woman, Emoline, who once helped him free his mind by teaching him to read. This literacy proves to be a key factor in enabling Cassius to solve the crime. The novel is full of gruelling anecdotes of the slave days and the distortion and corruption of all relationships between master and slave and slave and slave caused by the condition of slavery. The lyrical descriptions of the plantation and its smells and sounds, as well as the powerfully depicted slaves and owners, made for a richly textured read.’