A Blue Coast Mystery

Almost Solved

Nick Sweeney

In A Blue Coast Mystery: Almost Solved, a London nurse narrates the story of a drifter she latches onto in a public hospital. Henri is in permanent recovery, not only from his heroin addiction, but from the 1960s, a decade that invited the unwary to the biggest party in history.
Publication date:
November 2020
Publisher :
Addison & Highsmith
Language:
English
Format Available     Quantity Price
Paperback
ISBN : 9781592110643

Dimensions : 203 X 127 mm
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This book is available
£17.99

Overview
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In A Blue Coast Mystery: Almost Solved, a London nurse narrates the story of a drifter she latches onto in a public hospital. Henri is in permanent recovery, not only from his heroin addiction, but from the 1960s, a decade that invited the unwary to the biggest party in history, then discarded them. She is curious about his past life on the Côte d'Azur with a French countess, hanging out with the Rolling Stones in their exile.

Henri dismisses that story; it's an old one. Instead, he tells her about a couple he knew in Nice, the man an Armenian with the convenient name Armen, and his wife, Luciana, originally from Bessarabia, a forgotten battleground of Europe, subsumed into the bigger countries around it. They are gamblers who continually made and lost small fortunes. They are also genocide survivors - a word Henri understands for the first time when he hears them utter it - Armen escaping the Smyrna conflagration in 1922, and Luciana surviving the totalitarian powers that scourged Europe in the Second World War. Both are from places that no longer exist. Henri's affinity with them becomes friendship, even as their troubles multiply when Luciana falls prey to a wasting disease.

Their story comes ends when they disappear one winter evening; their fate sealed when their bodies turn up in the spring, victims of misadventure. Henri's world tumbles further into chaos with the loss of his countess to a familiar junkie fate. His days on the Blue Coast are numbered, and soon he is back in his native England, in and out of London's hospitals. There are signs that his luck has not been all bad: Henri may have salvaged some of the fortune his friends lost, and the narrator feels close to a solution to a final mystery from his time on the Blue Coast when she deduces that he is not as adrift as he seems.

Praise for A Blue Coast Mystery:
"A Blue Coast Mystery is a meditation on luck, chance, human frailty, and storytelling. Nick Sweeney achieves the remarkable feat of writing about decadence without being decadent, writing about addiction without being either salacious or moralistic, and writing about ennui without being boring. The book is hip without trying to be, and sympathetic but not sentimental. Sweeney is a master of cosmopolitan melancholy." - Geoff Nicholson, author of sixteen novels & contributing editor Los Angeles Review of Books