Ain't Nobody Nobody ~ Lone Star Book Blog Tours Review & Giveaway!

AIN'T NOBODY
NOBODY
by
HEATHER HARPER ELLETT

  Genre: Murder Mystery / Southern Noir / Dark Humor
Publisher: Polis Books
Date of Publication: September 24, 2019
Number of Pages: 336

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Named a Best Debut of Fall/Winter 2019 by Library Journal, Ain't Nobody Nobody is the story of a disgraced East Texas sheriff, his dead best friend's surly teenage daughter, and a naive ranch hand who find unlikely redemption in a murdered hog hunter on a fence. 

Part Breaking Bad and part Faulkner, this tragi-comic mystery is perfect for readers who enjoy dark humor (think Fargo) and like their crime fiction with a literary flare. 

A Best Mystery of 2019 by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel



✪✪✪✪✪
HALL WAYS REVIEW: Wow! I am not sure I have ever read a more authentically Texas-y book than Ain’t Nobody Nobody by Heather Harper Ellett.  In the process of entertaining readers with the East Texas people and the nuances of their lives and language, Ellett provides an engaging, multi-layered mystery sure to keep readers turning the pages.

 “Bradley Polk was not dumb. He had simply over-executed his naiveté. It was a misused tool, like a butter knife cutting a tomato.”

There are lessons abounding in Ain’t Nobody Nobody, but one that manifests itself in many ways is about taking things at face value. In the book, as in life, some things are nothing more than they appear to be, but most are not once you scratch beneath the surface.  A story comes to mind about when my highly educated Texan husband traveled to another state for work. At the conclusion of his presentation, a man approached and was puzzled because my husband, the man said, talked like a hick but used big words. Ellett’s characters may live in the sticks, and they may talk like hicks, but these people are not all country bumpkins. The main characters are educated, well-read (“Thoreau’s everybody’s favorite.”), and sharp, and this in contrast to how they talk and act is what adds flavor to the story. I laughed out loud at how Onie, a retired English teacher, had a standing assignment for her students to edit the local newspaper, and how Van, out of habit when reading, circled split infinitives. And then there was this conversation between Van and his daughter Birdie, about the new English teacher (also the school’s football coach – ah, Texas) teaching Thoreau:

“He calls him H.D. Thorough,” Birdie said.
“And he ain’t jokin’, is he?”
“He ain’t jokin’.”
Van shook his head. Birdie shook hers too. A joint lamentation of all the poor rural kids deprived of Transcendentalism during football season.
“The lines in their faces deepened, their jowls padded as if saddling up for the long ride of middle age.”

Ellett’s writing is richly detailed, and her use of figurative language provides amazing depth to the characters and the situations – the metaphors are strong and worthy of an entire paper devoted to their dissection. Truly, Ain’t Nobody Nobody is a teacher’s dream book, ripe with opportunities for students to extract themes and literary devices and observe creative twists to writing points-of-view and resolutions (that ending!) – oh, and to learn raw lessons on life. But happily, it’s not a book to be assigned for a proofreading exercise; Ain’t Nobody Nobody is meticulously edited. Can I get an amen?

I had been intrigued by Ain’t Nobody Nobody since before it published and ended up buying a print copy and adding myself to the Lone Star Book Blog Tour of it (because I can do that. Perks.) Certain books call to you, and this one did just that. I knew this one had to be held in my hands and each page savored, not devoured. I knew that once I started reading, the story would wash over me and hold me captive until the last page. I knew that the characters and the mood and the weight – and levity -- of it would stick with me long after I finished reading. I knew I’d be naming this book to anyone who asked for a reading recommendation (but I also knew that I’d never give up my own copy). Everything I knew would be true of Ain’t Nobody Nobody is true, and it’s even more outstanding than I expected. Now, if I can just parlay this clairvoyance into playing the lottery…




Born and raised in East Texas, Heather Harper Ellett is a graduate of SMU and a therapist in private practice. She lives in Dallas with her husband and son.




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GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!
 THREE SIGNED HARDCOVER COPIES
  January 2-12, 2020
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