Tag: Willie Mitchell Banks

Book Review: ‘5 Star’ by Michael Henry


In a good mystery, whatever the medium, the audience should not be able to tell very early on what really happened. It should be a journey of discovery for the audience as it is for the characters of the mystery. I was recently at a play which was a form of Sherlock Holmes fan-fiction wherein at the end, it turns out that Doctor John Watson is the real hero, but prefers to keep a low profile behind Holmes. It was hardly the first time I have encountered such a twist in Sherlock Holmes fan-fiction, but it was fairly well done. In this case, the writer was a little too cute in winking at the audience as he puts dialog into Holmes’ mouth about how writers can never be trusted.

I had been summoned to report for jury duty for yesterday. For those who have never been through the process, bringing a good book is always in order. Usually there is quite a bit of waiting time before selection. What is more appropriate than a mystery/legal thriller to read while awaiting empaneling or dismissal? I brought along Michael Henry’s latest Willie Mitchell Banks novel, 5 Star. To quote from a description of the book from the author’s Website:

El Ray, a 5-star Ole Miss quarterback recruit, is murdered on an unauthorized weekend visit, triggering a vindictive NCAA investigation eager to pin the blame on the university, and sending former D.A. Willie Mitchell Banks into a deadly drugs-for-sex underworld in rural Mississippi…

Book Review: Murder in the Grove by Michael Henry


I swear I was only going to read a chapter or two last night, but here I am at four in the morning just having closed Murder in the Grove by Ricochet’s own Michael Henry. Like the earlier books by Michael Henry I have reviewed (Three Bad Years, At Random, and The Ride Along), Murder in the Grove is a good, solid book and well worth reading.

The main character is Willie Mitchell Banks, whom we met in Michael’s earlier books. Willie Mitchell was a district attorney in the Mississippi Delta country. He had been in office in his rural county for nearly a quarter-century before retiring and moving to the big city of Oxford, Mississippi (population currently less than 25,000). By the time of Murder in the Grove, he has been living in Oxford long enough to be in good with the old geezers who play golf down at the country club each day, and it is there that the adventure begins. One of his relatively new friends asks if he will look into a murder that happened in 1962. At the same time, his successor as DA is having to bring a murder trial to Oxford in a change in venue due to the accused’s being too well known in their rural county in the Delta, making it impossible to impanel a jury. Willie Mitchell gets involved in both the current trial and in investigating the murder from long ago. And soon enough, more bodies are turning up all over the place.