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Pay Dirt Road: A Novel
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Published:
St. Martin's Publishing Group 2022
Status:
Checked Out
Description

Friday Night Lights meets Mare of Easttown in this small-town mystery about an unlikely private investigator searching for a missing waitress. Pay Dirt Road is the mesmerizing debut from the 2019 Tony Hillerman Prize recipient Samantha Jayne Allen.
Annie McIntyre has a love/hate relationship with Garnett, Texas.
Recently graduated from college and home waitressing, lacking not in ambition but certainly in direction, Annie is lured into the family business—a private investigation firm—by her supposed-to-be-retired grandfather, Leroy, despite the rest of the clan's misgivings.
When a waitress at the café goes missing, Annie and Leroy begin an investigation that leads them down rural routes and haunted byways, to noxious-smelling oil fields and to the glowing neon of local honky-tonks. As Annie works to uncover the truth she finds herself identifying with the victim in increasing, unsettling ways, and realizes she must confront her own past—failed romances, a disturbing experience she'd rather forget, and the trick mirror of nostalgia itself—if she wants to survive this homecoming.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
04/19/2022
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781250804280
ASIN:
B092T7XVMF
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Samantha Jayne Allen. (2022). Pay Dirt Road: A Novel. St. Martin's Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Samantha Jayne Allen. 2022. Pay Dirt Road: A Novel. St. Martin's Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Samantha Jayne Allen, Pay Dirt Road: A Novel. St. Martin's Publishing Group, 2022.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Samantha Jayne Allen. Pay Dirt Road: A Novel. St. Martin's Publishing Group, 2022.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Apr 15, 2022 16:01:53
Date Updated:
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      • bioText: SAMANTHA JAYNE ALLEN is the author of the Annie McIntyre Mysteries. She has an MFA in fiction from Texas State University, and her writing has been published in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, The Common, and Electric Literature. Raised in small towns in Texas and California, she now lives with her husband and daughter in Atlanta.
      • name: Samantha Jayne Allen
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fullDescription

Friday Night Lights meets Mare of Easttown in this small-town mystery about an unlikely private investigator searching for a missing waitress. Pay Dirt Road is the mesmerizing debut from the 2019 Tony Hillerman Prize recipient Samantha Jayne Allen.
Annie McIntyre has a love/hate relationship with Garnett, Texas.
Recently graduated from college and home waitressing, lacking not in ambition but certainly in direction, Annie is lured into the family business—a private investigation firm—by her supposed-to-be-retired grandfather, Leroy, despite the rest of the clan's misgivings.
When a waitress at the café goes missing, Annie and Leroy begin an investigation that leads them down rural routes and haunted byways, to noxious-smelling oil fields and to the glowing neon of local honky-tonks. As Annie works to uncover the truth she finds herself identifying with the victim in increasing, unsettling ways, and realizes she must confront her own past—failed romances, a disturbing experience she'd rather forget, and the trick mirror of nostalgia itself—if she wants to survive this homecoming.

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reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: The Providence Journal
      • content:

        Winner of the 2022 Dashiell Hammett Award for Literary Excellence in Crime Fiction

        "Wondrous....Allen proves herself as adept as the likes of David Baldacci, Lisa Gardner, and Lisa Scottoline."

      • premium: False
      • source: The New York Times
      • content: "There's a wistful air wafting through Samantha Jayne Allen's debut... Allen writes with keen acumen, her sentences marked with quiet yet powerful grace notes."
      • premium: False
      • source: Reader's Digest
      • content: "Samantha Jayne Allen paints a detailed picture of small-town Texan life and invites readers along on a crime-solving adventure full of deepening family relationships and life lessons."
      • premium: False
      • source: The Augusta Chronicle
      • content: "If you liked the realist grit of Mare of Easttown, you'll savor this smart and layered tale from a new Georgia writer worth watching."
      • premium: False
      • source: Texas Monthly
      • content: "Allen's prose lights up like a neon beer sign....The Central Texas setting rings true, not just in its gratifying buffet of kolaches, H-E-B tortillas, and Texas sheet cake, but in the turreted McMansions whose smiling bluebonnet photos hide a host of sins."
      • premium: False
      • source: Booklist, starred review, Top 10 Debut Mysteries & Thrillers 2022
      • content: "[T]he Texas landscape, with its falling-apart houses and bedraggled bars, comes alive in this remarkable novel, reminiscent of Larry McMurtry's The Last Picture Show."
      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        November 1, 2021

        At loose ends when she returns home to Garnett, TX, Annie McIntyre joins her family's private investigation firm despite misgivings on all sides and is soon handling a case involving a missing waitress with whom she finds herself identifying. The result: bad memories, a confrontation with the past, and a fear that she'll never survive this case. A debut from 2019 Tony Hillerman Prize recipient Allen; with a 40,000-copy first printing.

        Copyright 2021 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        January 3, 2022
        Recent college graduate Annie McIntyre, the narrator of Tony Hillerman Prize winner Allen’s solid debut, has felt rudderless since moving home to Garnett, Tex., and taking a job at the local café, so she’s thrilled when her grandfather, Leroy McIntyre, and his business partner, Mary-Pat Zimmerman, offer her part-time work at their PI firm. Annie starts out doing the detectives’ filing, but then fellow waitress Victoria Merritt turns up dead after attending the same drunken bonfire as Annie. Police make an arrest, but Annie has her doubts, and when the detainee’s grandmother hires Leroy and Mary-Pat to clear his name, Annie insists on joining their investigation. Viable suspects abound, from Victoria’s estranged husband to an oil exec intent on running a pipeline through Victoria’s backyard, and Annie is determined to catch the real culprit, even if doing so means imperiling herself. The story is slow to start and much of the interpersonal conflict feels manufactured, but evocative prose and a powerful sense of place lift an otherwise run-of-the-mill mystery. Allen is a writer with promise. Agent: Sharon Pelletier, Dystel, Goderich & Bourret.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        February 1, 2022
        A gritty, down-home exploration of murder and dysfunction in a Texas town. Upon her college graduation, Annie McIntyre returns home to Garnett, Texas, thinking about law school but with no clear path in sight. She's living with her cousin Nikki and waitressing at a diner, where she meets young mother Victoria Merritt. Attending Justin Schneider's bonfire party takes Annie right back to high school, as beer flows and a volatile combination of jocks, mean girls, and out-of-town roughnecks mix. Victoria turns up apparently bombed out of her mind; it's the last time Annie sees her alive. When Victoria's disappearance and a fatal hit-and-run roil the town, Annie, whose dysfunctional family has a long history in law enforcement, feels pulled to investigate. Mary-Pat, who runs a private investigation firm with Annie's grandfather Leroy, hires her to do office work that may lead to an internship. Annie and Nikki's many visits to bars in search of Victoria end when her body is discovered in a shallow grave on Annie's family land. The experience brings on a bout of PTSD from a traumatic experience Annie had at a fraternity party during her senior year in high school. When Fernando, a high school friend who works at the diner, is arrested, Annie gets Leroy and Mary-Pat to investigate for his lawyer. A gas company that sought to lease Victoria's land gives her husband a financial motive for her murder; the environmental problems the company is hiding give it a powerful motive as well. A dark picture of hardscrabble Texas juiced by the heroine's angst makes for a great debut. Here's hoping for a follow-up.

        COPYRIGHT(2022) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        Starred review from February 15, 2022
        This mystery, which won the Tony Hillerman Prize for best debut novel set in the Southwest, is that rarity in private-eye fiction: a coming-of-age story. Very often, the fictional PI is older, well established, and cynical. Here, the PI, Annie McIntyre, is young (22), a recent college grad, and doesn't know what she is. Annie returns to her hardscrabble Texas town, directionless and conflicted. She divides her time between hanging out with her high-school buddies, who never left town, and waitressing at a local caf� that is filled with farmers and ranchers in the morning, and long-haul truckers, shift workers, and stoned teens at night. One of the waitresses at the caf� goes missing after a bonfire party that Annie attended. This marks Annie's awakening, since she identifies with the wild, vulnerable, missing young woman, who is eventually found strangled. Annie then gets a plot-convenient offer to join her grandfather, a former sheriff, in his detective agency. Readers will forgive this ploy as they learn, with Annie, the tricks of the investigating trade, starting with "never ask too many questions" when doing an interview. Annie grows before our eyes, and the Texas landscape, with its falling-apart houses and bedraggled bars, comes alive in this remarkable novel, reminiscent of Larry McMurtry's The Last Picture Show.

        COPYRIGHT(2022) Booklist, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        Starred review from March 1, 2022

        DEBUT After graduating from college, Annie McIntyre returned home to her family, friends, and history in Garnett, TX. A small town hit by drought and recession, Garnett is desperate for the money from a company buying drilling rights. Annie is just as desperate for a purpose, a lost young woman who works as a waitress in the town's caf�, and parties at night with her cousin. At a community bonfire one night, she recognizes Victoria, another waitress, who is stumbling drunk, but Annie is too busy stopping her cousin from picking a fight to help her work friend. When Victoria's strangled body is found on Annie's grandfather's land, Annie realizes that the dead woman could have easily been herself. Annie's grandfather Leroy is co-owner of a private investigation firm that has been hired by a suspect's family to prove he's not guilty. Annie latches onto the investigation as a way to deal with her own demons and prove she's not a victim, nor a drunk loser with no future. VERDICT Annie's brooding voice stands out. Fans of Southwestern atmospheric mysteries will appreciate this debut with a strong sense of place by Allen, winner of the 2019 Hillerman Prize.--Lesa Holstine

        Copyright 2022 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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shortDescription

Friday Night Lights meets Mare of Easttown in this small-town mystery about an unlikely private investigator searching for a missing waitress. Pay Dirt Road is the mesmerizing debut from the 2019 Tony Hillerman Prize recipient Samantha Jayne Allen.
Annie McIntyre has a love/hate relationship with Garnett, Texas.
Recently graduated from college and home waitressing, lacking not in ambition but certainly in direction, Annie is lured into the family business—a private investigation firm—by her supposed-to-be-retired grandfather, Leroy, despite the rest of the clan's misgivings.
When a waitress at the café goes missing, Annie and Leroy begin an investigation that leads them down rural routes and haunted byways, to noxious-smelling oil fields and to the glowing neon of local honky-tonks. As Annie works to uncover the truth she finds herself identifying with the victim in increasing, unsettling ways, and realizes she must confront her...

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      • description: Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Women Sleuths
      • code: FIC022090
      • description: Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Private Investigators
      • code: FIC066000
      • description: Fiction / Small Town & Rural