Book Review: Mr. Poppin’s Basement Improvement

Crime fiction has been a best seller for more than one hundred years. Possibly more than 3000.

Authors through the ages have used elements of crime in their tales to lure the reader into the story. However, the real history of crime fiction got really wound up with the likes of Sherlock Holmes, etc. That’s the series that spurred the great interest in mystery fiction, but it wasn’t alone. It was just the one that stuck.

Since crime fiction writers have been so prolific in their criminal prognostications with all their classics and best sellers, it’s a wonder that there is anything left to write about. However, you have to look only to the cases presented to the Supreme Court each year to quickly learn that there are always new and undreamt of wrinkles.

On the mystery writers list of things to do, early on the identity of the perpetrator was never known until the end of the story. Then one day a hungry mystery writer introduced the villain at the top of the story to make the reader have to work backwards to see how the foul deed was done to actually solve the mystery.

Then comes along Mr. Poppin’s Basement Improvement, a crime novel of sorts that not only gives away the evil deed doer at the top of the story, but then introduces another mystery. Ergo, will the bad guy get caught? Of course, this is not new either. But I can divulge that just about the time you get set on whether or not Poppin’s goes to jail, this American crime story set in the south throws you another twist.

As crime novels go, many are set in the big cities, often in the underbelly of the beast. Mr. Poppin’s Basement Improvement, however, is back grounded in the American south, and Alabama in particular. While Yankees most often kill, on occasion, it does happen south of the Mason Dixon line.

Poppin is a case study in madness, greed, deception, and all the other delicious ingredients that go into a purposeful and unapologetic murder mystery book. As detective stories go, there are also two local sheriff’s detectives for color, one being of color, and the other not, who have their own interesting take on life in the south.

On top of the crime aspect, you’ll also be treated into a genuine window into life in a small southern town. Actually, life in a settlement on the outskirts of the small town of Cowchip/AL. Especially for folks who have a curiosity about what goes on in the deep south, this book will be a treat.

The quality and availability of Mr. Poppin’s Basement Improvement is guaranteed A-1 because it is offered as an Amazon Book Selection which can be read on the Kindle, or on any PC. It is a good book of detective fiction, but especially generous in detail to the southern experience of the residents of Cowchip/AL, which is not far away at all from the Twilight Zone.

Mr. Poppin’s Basement Improvement is one in a series of books that uses Cowchip/AL for background and color. It is the only mystery in the series, the other books aimed more toward a really classy, and as one reviewer stated, “Quriky” set of characters and situations.

It is a fact that once introduced to the “quirky” writing style of author Norman Morrison, you’ll want to own everything he writes for your collection. You’ll also crave a bacon sandwich. You’ll just have to read Mr. Poppin’s Basement Improvement to learn why.