In the depths of the Great Depression, father and son musicologists John and Alan Lomax make several eye-opening—at times menacing—journeys through the Jim Crow South. Assigned to record pioneer blues artists for the Library of Congress, they visit plantations and penitentiaries, rural crossroads and bustling cities. During their travels, they encounter a series of bizarre killings. Among the victims are country blues giants Charley Patton and Robert Johnson, along with singers Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith. The police show little interest in investigating the deaths of these seminal black performers, so the Lomaxes decide to look into the murders. They learn that the crimes are the work of a single deranged killer, and as they come closer to identifying the madman, they become targets themselves. Their discovery of who committed the murders, and why, carries with it the threat of imminent death. (Level Best Books, 2020)

“A fantastical journey…from the 1920s to the 1940s, through dozens of towns where African-American musicians turned their desperation into extraordinary music—and where a mysterious killer turns his desperation into a murder spree.” —Publishers Weekly BookLife Reviews

“Martin captures the atmosphere of the period perfectly…. Killin’ Floor Blues makes for an intriguing and enlightening read from start to finish.” San Francisco Book Review (4.5 Stars)

“A revelation. Brings the early blues greats and their times to life. I can’t wait to read Martin’s next book!” —Jeffrey Meyerriecks, renowned classical and jazz guitarist

“A fascinating tale of music and race during the Great Depression. There’s a lot of great history of Blues packed into this murder mystery.” —Kelly Oliver, bestselling author of the Fiona Figg Mysteries