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book cover of Black Hearts and Slow Dancing

Black Hearts and Slow Dancing

(The first book in the Mac Fontana series)
A novel by

Publisher's Weekly
This is the fifth mystery from the Shamus Award-winning author of Fat Tuesday and Nervous Laughter. Unwillingly substituting for the sheriff of Staircase, a town in Washington, Mac Fontana decides the job is more attractive when alluring April Smith asks him to locate her missing lover, Steve Zajac. The search ends with Fontana finding Zajac's corpse and losing April, whom he traces to Seattle where the dead man had been a fire fighter. It's easy to get a lead on April, whose real name is Sumner, but hard and dangerous to investigate powerful citizens who have hired guns ready to kill anyone threatening their profits from arson and other crimes. As Fontana closes in on the suspects, he and April fall into the hands of a vicious couple, creating a crisis stunningly handled by an expert storyteller. A gripping mix of tensions and humor, the novel is enhanced by background material gleaned from Emerson's experiences as a lieutenant with the Seattle Fire Department.

Library Journal
Maureen ''Mo'' Costigan, feminist mayor of Staircase, Washington, tries to persuade Mac Fontana, an emotionally wounded import from back East, to take on temporary sheriff's duties. The job means checking out a sultry woman's story about a missing boyfriend. The tortured, spread-eagled corpse Mac subsequently discovers plunges him into a case involving corruption in the nearby Seattle fire department. Emerson's lean, lucid, and picturesque prose masterfully describes Mac's abrasive encounters with renegade arsonists and a greedy real estate developer. Easily as good as Elmore Leonard's Glitz.


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Used availability for Earl W Emerson's Black Hearts and Slow Dancing

Hardback Editions

February 1988 : USA Hardback

Title: Black Hearts and Slow Dancing
Author(s): Earl W Emerson
ISBN: 0-688-07533-9 / 978-0-688-07533-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: William Morrow & Co
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Paperback Editions

November 1997 : USA Paperback

Title: Black Hearts and Slow Dancing: The First Mac Fontana Mystery
Author(s): Earl W Emerson
ISBN: 0-380-72937-7 / 978-0-380-72937-1 (USA edition)
Publisher: Avon Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

March 1989 : UK Paperback

Title: Black Hearts And Slow Dancing: A New Mystery By the Author of 'Fat Tuesday And Poverty Bay' (Penguin Crime Fiction)
Author(s): Earl W Emerson
ISBN: 0-14-011732-6 / 978-0-14-011732-5 (UK edition)
Publisher: Penguin
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Kindle Editions

March 2012 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition

Title: Black Hearts and Slow Dancing (Book One in the Mac Fontana Series 1)
Author(s): Earl Emerson
Publisher: Earl Emerson
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA