Thin Blue Smoke

4.13 based on 159 ratings & 49 reviews on

LaVerne Williams is a reformed felon, ex-ballplayer, and owner of Kansas City’s best barbecue joint. Ferguson Glen is an Episcopal priest and faded literary star, lover of God, women and liquor (but not necessarily in that order).

Their lives intersect at LaVerne’s diner – ‘Smoke Meat’, as the regulars call it. There they are joined by a cast of remarkable characters, including LaVerne’s devoted right-hand man, A.B. Clayton; blues legend ‘Mother’ Mary Weaver; and Sammy Merzeti, a young man with a bloody past – and a bloodier future.

Thin Blue Smoke is an epic redemption tale, the story of two men coming to terms with their pasts. It is also a novel about faith, race, storytelling, bourbon, the language of rabbits, and the finer points of barbecue technique.

Heartrending and bitterly funny, it marks the arrival of a vital new voice in American fiction.

About Doug Worgul

Doug Worgul was born into a family of preachers, teachers and writers, in the state of Michigan. He now resides in Kansas City, where barbecue and the blues are a way of life. He has been a newspaper journalist and editor of regional and national magazines. He is married, with four daughters, and is a nationally recognized authority on the history and cultural significance of American barbecue traditions.

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