Who Killed Buster Sparkle? by John W. Bateman
When a drag queen named Peaches meets Buster, a Mississippi ghost with partial amnesia, questions of past, present, and future surface.
Buster attempts to reckon with who he was and is in the presence of Peaches, whose gender-fluid identity perplexes him. Although he doesn't want to associate with Peaches, Buster realizes that he must push aside his biases to avoid eternal loneliness.
Who Killed Buster Sparkle? threads together dialogue on race, gender, orientation, and economics, showing oppression exists in many forms. Bateman masters the comic and gothic through two characters who need each other more than they understand.
Hardback ISBN: 978-1-947021-89-1
Publication Date: June 12, 2019
#3 Raspberry Lane is the delightful convergence of the underworld and the queer underground of Clover, Mississippi. Here, possession takes on a new meaning, love has no color, and gender is gloriously spectral. In Who Killed Buster Sparkle?, Bateman has recreated the American South, making it tragically new and hauntingly utopian.
— Michael Carroll, Stella Maris and Other Key West Stories, and winner of the 2015 Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters for little reef and other stories
John Bateman’s fine first novel is not only a smart exploration of race, sexuality, class, and community in the New South, it’s an ingenious murder mystery where the unlikely detectives are a public-spirited drag queen and a ghost with amnesia. Original and entertaining.
— Christopher Bram, author of Gods and Monsters