Robert “Bob” Downes is the former editor and co-founder of the Northern Express. He’s written six non-fiction books and novels over the past decade, all with a twist on adventure. His new book, Sandy Bottom, is now available and we took a moment to ask him about the book and its Leelanau County ties.
It’s a pot-boiler with a lot of laughs and familiar settings. Most of the action takes place in Traverse City, but there are key scenes at Fishtown, the Crystal River and in Benzie County, with references to Northport and Peshawbestown. I have a cottage on Little Platte Lake in Benzie County, and that’s where the book starts out,” Bob explained.
He continued, “My intention was to write a spoof of the small town mystery novel, which tends to have a stock premise involving a world-weary, outsider detective type (conservation officer, insurance investigator, former narcotics cop), who knows that evil always lurks in the woods beyond the prosaic small town facade. In this case, the mystery involves invasive species, elderly exotic animals, a militia group and a fanatical ecologist.”
“My protagonist Dredd is a heartbroken stoner and street musician who has his heart broken after being jilted by a Russian mail order bride and femme fatale named Sandy. Looking for a new path in life, he becomes a detective by reading old-school, hard-boiled mystery novels while bartending at a yoga retreat in Guatemala. He returns to TC to solve the murder of his ex-girlfriend’s husband, Timothy Bottom.”
Order Sandy Bottom or any of his books on his website.