Michael D Graves, All Hallows’ Shadows
In All Hallows’ Shadows, Michael D. Graves serves up both homage and an original take on the hard-boiled detective genre. The mean streets of the novel are historic Wichita, Kansas, which Mr. Graves renders impeccably, edging in a history lesson with his mystery. Graves, an evident baseball fan, hits through the cycle of the genre’s tropes but does so in a manner entirely his own, realizing a style entirely his own. Out of a field of strong competition, my choice for the J. Donald Coffin Book Award is Michael D. Graves’s All Hallows’ Shadows.
Judge William Sheldon lives with his family in Hutchinson, Kansas where he teaches and writes. He took his BS and MA in English from Emporia State University and an MFA in Creative Writing from Wichita State University. His poetry and prose have been published widely in such journals as Blue Mesa Review, Columbia, Flint Hills Review, New Letters, and Prairie Schooner. He is the author of two books of poetry, Retrieving Old Bones (Woodley, 2002) and Rain Comes Riding (Mammoth, 2011), as well as a chapbook, Into Distant Grass (Oil Hill, 2009). Retrieving Old Bones was a Kansas City Star Noteworthy Book for 2002 and is listed as one of the Great Plains Alliance’s Great Books of the Great Plains. He plays bass for the band The Excuses.
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