The Devil’s Odds by Milton T. Burton
This posthumous novel by the great Texas author looks at the state during World War Two. It tells of the fight over Galveston gambling when a Texas ranger is caught between the legendary Maceo Brothers and New Orleans mob, trying to save a red haired damsel who may or may not be in distress. This is noir Lone Star style.
The Comedy Is Finished by Donald Westlake
This recently discovered Westlake book has a Bob Hope-style comedian kidnapped by revolutionaries in the Seventies. A smart, sobering view of the post-Watergate era.
The Plot Against Hip Hop by Nelson George
A great schooling of hip hop culture via a strong hard boiled mystery, this novel provides a look at what happens when art, culture, commerce, and politics meet. A great read even if you’re not into rap music.