Episode 34: Bluebird, Bluebird Discussion, plus recommendations for atmospheric mystery, Western, and historical nonfiction books

Darren Matthews is a Black Texas Ranger, and he’s all too aware of the deeply embedded racial tensions in East Texas. His personal life is in turmoil, and he’s supposed to turn his badge in, yet he can’t help but get wrapped up in a small town mystery. Decades-long grudges and hatred surface as he investigates, but it seems like everyone except for Darren just wants to push the racism and prejudice down instead of rooting it out. This award-winning mystery is the first in Attica Locke’s Highway 59 series. Today we’re discussing Bluebird, Bluebird. (Our discussion episodes contain spoilers). 

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Show Notes:

The Importance of OWN Voices Reviews

Review of Bluebird, Bluebird by Esi Edugyan

Attica Locke on her “love letter to Black Texans

Attica Locke: “In America, We Walk ‘Side by Side’ With Our Past”

First Black Texas Ranger

The First African-American Woman Texas Ranger

The Real Lone Ranger

We didn’t fully address the heavy use of racist language in Bluebird, Bluebird in our discussion and couldn’t find any reviews or interviews that focused on it. Here are two resources on the importance of learning the history behind racist terms:

Teaching Tolerance

The Root


The Dry by Jane Harper

The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson

Pronto/Raylan by Elmore Leonard 

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