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Blackman's Coffin (Sam Blackman #1)

4.01  ·  Rating Details ·  766 Ratings  ·  92 Reviews
What's really hidden beneath Asheville's rich history? Sam Blackman is an angry man. A Chief Warrant Officer in the Criminal Investigation Detachment of the U.S. military, he lost a leg in Iraq. His outspoken criticism of his medical treatment resulted in his transfer to the Veteran's Hospital in Asheville, NC. Then an ex-marine and fellow amputee named Tikima Robertson wa ...more
Hardcover, 255 pages
Published June 1st 2008 by Poisoned Pen Press
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While perusing the stacks at the library, Blackman's Coffin practically leaped off the shelf into my hands. I thought: "That sure looks like the Biltmore House in Asheville." If you've never been to America's largest private residence - the mansion of mansions - you are missing out! Words can not even begin to describe such opulence.

After I turned the book over and read the back cover, not only did I confirm my assumption, I was intrigued by the synopsis.

Recovering Iraqi War amputee, Chief Warr
Elizabeth A.
Apr 29, 2010 Elizabeth A. rated it really liked it
Blackman's Coffin is the first book in a new series from Mark de Castrique, author of the outstanding 'Buryin' Barry' series. Blackman's Coffin introduces us to Sam Blackman, a former Chief Warrant Officer in the Army's Criminal Investigation Detachment who, having lost part of his left leg in Iraq, is currently rehabbing at a V.A. hospital in Asheville, N.C.

Shortly before he is set to be discharged, both from the hospital and the Army, he meets fellow vet and amputee Tikima Robertson during one
BLACKMAN’S COFFIN (Unl. Inv.-Sam Blackman-North Carolina/Georgia-1907/Cont) – Ex
De Castrique, Mark – 1st Sam Blackman book
Poisoned Pen Press, 2008, US Hardcover – ISBN: 9781590585177

First Sentence: I felt a hand on my shoulder , shaking me awake.

Sam Blackman was a Chief Warrant Officer in the Criminal Investigation Detachment. He is now in a VA Hospital in Ashville, NC after having lost part of his leg in Iraq. Tikima Robertson, an ex-Marine who lost part of her arm in Iraq, visits his room. She
Chuck McGrady
Feb 02, 2017 Chuck McGrady rated it really liked it
Having read several of the books in this series, I figured I ought to go back and read the first one although I knew the basic plot from the later books. As with the author's other books, Blackman's Coffin is fun because I know so many of the places and the history, and I didn't figure out the twists until the author revealed them. One little quibble: the protagonist (Blackman) interacts with a Forest Service ranger, and they reference "park land." No U.S. Forest Service employee would call the ...more
Apr 03, 2015 Ann rated it really liked it
Sam Blackman is in the VA hospital in Asheville, NC. He lost his leg in the current Iraq War and is having rehab when he meets Tikima Robertson, a fellow amputee who invites him to apply for a job at her security firm. Soon after, Sam phones the firm and learns Tikima has been found murdered. Tikima's sister, Nakayla, calls on Sam when her sister's apartment is broken into. The intruders overlooked a diary from 1919 bookmarked with Sam's name and number. The diary brings to life the story of a w ...more
Jan 21, 2013 Kristi rated it really liked it
I listened to this as an audiobook on some of my longer runs. It was a good story and the ending wasn't predictable. The narrator drove me crazy doing all the different voices and I feel like he had weird pauses, but the book itself was enjoyable.
Nov 03, 2016 M rated it it was amazing
I got this book through one of my free ebook sites and am now hooked on the author's style. I am especially appreciative of the way the characters are built without the usual "his hair was this color with that color eyes." By the end of the first chapter we know a great deal about two of the characters without it feeling forced. All of the characters are likable and engaging, and I appreciate how some of the people we met in the first book continue to show up in the next one. There's a sense of ...more
Dec 17, 2016 Tulay rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good mystery.

Started out little slow but ending was good. Interesting characters and plot. Nakalya's sister is murdered after visiting Sam at the hospital. She made a great impression on Sam. After learning the history of this black family and finding the dairy, they have to solve this mystery. Biltmore estate, emeralds and gold around the estate. I will read more from this author
Melvin A. Green
Jan 24, 2017 Melvin A. Green rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't put it down starting from page 1. A totally engrossing mystery story.

A very well written novel where the story line centers around the classical author Thomas Wolfe. Intriguing, very original plot.
Nov 06, 2016 BonusMom rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very good suspense

This was a very quick enjoyable read. Yes, there are a lot of characters to get to know but they are all well developed. The story is intriguing and moves quickly and keeps the suspense right to the finish. Thank you Mr. de Castrique for a well written book!
Cheryl Benton
Oct 29, 2016 Cheryl Benton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Blackman Coffin

Oh my gosh!! This book was awesome! I didn't want it to end. I really like how the past never got forgotten and helped bring an end to mystery in time.
Joyce K. Wire
Jan 19, 2017 Joyce K. Wire rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I would recommend

This book held my interest. I especially loved that it took place in Ashville and the Biltmore Estate, an area I'm familiar with. Good story!
Oct 30, 2016 Melissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable off-beat mystery

Wry sense of humor and a,century-old murder tied to a current one made this an enjoyable read. No slow spots.
Dec 29, 2016 Pantaz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Clever. A bit of historical fiction adds to intriguing plot.
Nov 05, 2016 Liz rated it really liked it
A fun story. I liked the characters.
charlotte a pals
Oct 23, 2016 charlotte a pals rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

A true mystery, kept me guessing what was around the next page. Very well written. I'm sure Mr de Catrique did a lot of research for this novel.
Harold T. Smith
Oct 22, 2016 Harold T. Smith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well written

This story is well worth reading! I look forward to more from this author! Best read in a long time!
Dec 27, 2016 Scot rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this murder mystery. The protagonist is a contemporary military vet, a bit of a loner dealing with the loss of one of his legs and adapting to the prosthetic. He gets involved in investigating the sudden murder of an African American woman who worked for a securities firm and had only met him once, but who had set aside a gift for him and had been trying to contact him before her demise. During the novel we learn so much along the way to the resolution of the drams, with its slo ...more
Mar 11, 2010 Maddy rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2008-reads
SETTING: Asheville, North Carolina
SERIES: #1 of 1

Blackman’s Coffin is a departure from Mark de Castrique’s Buryin’ Barry series and introduces a compelling new protagonist, Sam Blackman, a somewhat embittered ex-Army investigator who lost his left leg in Iraq.

While recovering in a VA hospital in Asheville, North Carolina, he is visited by ex-marine Tikima Robertson, who is also an amputee, having lost her hand in battle. She’s a feisty woman who cuts to the c
Kaelin Pearce
Dec 16, 2016 Kaelin Pearce rated it really liked it
It was a little hard to get past the beginning. It seemed strange they based the story off Tikima who was such a small part of the book(apart from reference later) but after a few chapters the story took off and I read it in a few sittings.
Miss Starling
This book has an easy going writing style that you can follow without having to pause and re-read paragraphs. That is a fun, lovely fact about this book. Blackman's Coffin is primarily about an army vet, Sam Blackman, who is recently made an amputee. He is visited by an arm amputee who gives him a seemingly uninteresting book, then is found floating in the river the next day. The plot unfolds as he digs up the past to find that she is connected to an earliar sequence of events. That was a little ...more
Dec 13, 2016 Kelley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Historical mystery

Good mystery, keeps you guessing. Plus it has the added bonuses of including historical information about race relations, background of the NC mountains and challenges of amputees. Enjoyed.
Sher Brown
Dec 11, 2016 Sher Brown rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Easy read

The book held my interest. What more can you ask? I'd read the next in the series with no hesitation
Jul 17, 2008 Janet rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
I found this title listed on my "to be read" shelf. I put in there about two years ago though I don't recall it or know where I found it. I was a little bit hesitant about it because the author was unknown to me.

What a surprise! I greatly enjoyed this book. I flew through it in a day. The story was nice, simple, interesting and believable. The only thing I found wanting was that I wish I knew more about Sam Blackman. Since this is the start of a series I'm assuming that the character will devel
Sam Blackman a patient at the Asheville VA hospital is visited by a young woman, Tikima, who like him has lost a limb in the Iraqi war. What begins as a harsh pep talk ends up as an intriguing job offer. Then days later later Tikima y is found dead in the French Broad River. The clues Blackman and Tikima's sister have to go on are scant; an old journal, file cards from Tikima's job as a security specialist. Before long it becomes apparent that Tikima's murder is some how tied to her great- great ...more
Kathleen Lawrence
May 06, 2016 Kathleen Lawrence rated it it was ok
This is de Castrique's first murder/mystery featuring Sam Blackman, a former Chief Warrant Officer in the Criminal Investigation Detachment of the U.S. Military. He lost a leg in Iraq and while recovering is visited in the hospital by Takima Robertson, also an amputee. She wants him to consider working for the same security firm she does when he is released. But, things spiral dangerously when Takima is found murdered. Sam's curiousity is aroused and he is soon tracking down clues on the Vanderb ...more
Oct 26, 2010 Sue rated it really liked it
This is a new character and series. Blackman is an veteran of the Iraq war who is struggling to cope with the fact he now has a prothestic leg. While still in the hospital, he meets a young black woman, a former Marine who lost an arm & hand - replaced by a hook, at her choice. She's very strong and essentially tells him to "get a grip"; she tells him she'll be back to see him, but does not return. He finds out she was murdered; decides to attend her funeral to pay his respects as a veteran ...more
Feb 18, 2016 Beverly rated it really liked it
I'm a lover of literary fiction, memoirs and occasionally a good mystery. I don't have time for junk but needed a post-surgery quick read. Chose this book for its cover, embarrassed to say; thought it would be a 3 star, at best. But I'm new to the Asheville area, so the romp through history and local attractions kept my attention. Surprisingly, the story got better, escalating into a flood of details and plot twists that made me yearn for the author's storyboard--and a map of Blackman's stops ar ...more
Feb 19, 2015 Ed rated it really liked it
#1 in the Sam Blackman series. The debut entry in the series by Mark de Castrique, author of the Buryin' Barry Clayton series. A minor character, Tikima, sister of the ongoing character Nakayla, made quite an impression on me and I wish there was a way to see more of her.

Sam Blackman, Army CID investigator, is being discharged after losing a foot in Iraq. He is visited by Tikima, an ex-Marine amputee working for a security firm, who promises to return for another visit. She doesn't return and wh
May 05, 2013 Jack rated it liked it
A recommendation from my friend Denise Wetstiene, this is a new series (2008) based in Ashville, NC. The settings in the surrounding area of Ashville were all familiar to me, having just gone this past fall. The Biltmore Estate and winery, Blue Ridge Parkway, the Woolworth Walk and Pisgah Forest all figure prominently in the story. The main character is an Iraqi war vet and he is tangled up in a 80 year old murder and related current day deaths. A well told tale. One area that was also included ...more
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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.
More about Mark de Castrique...

Other Books in the Series

Sam Blackman (5 books)
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  • The Sandburg Connection (Sam Blackman, #3)
  • A Murder in Passing (Sam Blackman #4)
  • A Specter of Justice: A Sam Blackman Mystery (Sam Blackman Series)

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