“Black Bottom Bandits” by Vicki Welch Ayo and Gean Kearns, Independent Label
A review by Billy Keith Bucher
From the first paragraph, the cadence of “Black Bottom Bandits” by Vicki Welch Ayo and Gean Kearns just explodes. It changes the pace of the first book, “The Davis Gang,” and it swallows the readers up totally and moves them along with the intensity of a gang of female bank robbers ready for action and heading into a bank building in the thirties. One change in this series that is now covered under the general title, “Texas Sisters-on-the-Run,” is that it is filled with so much magic and excitement that it sizzles with intensity.
The realization is stark that “The Davis Gang” just had to happen to set up the action and the nature of the nine books which are set to follow. Even the mystery of the chapters are exciting and dreamlike. Chapters like “Moonshine in Catahoula Parish” and “If You’ve Got the Money Honey” led to “Bandit Queens” and “Dressed To Kill” and leads the readers through a romp in “Black Bottom Bandits.”
“The Davis Gang” made for good reading because of the history which it provided of East Texas and connections to Bonnie and Clyde, which are so important to the action of the gang. It has now become more of an investigation of the canvas of the thirties, when the robberies happened and where landmarks of a thoughtful way of what was to come.
One new twist is a new awareness to the slang words of the times which Ayo and Kearns studied, finding hipper words for money, guns and women, used often here and are in full display. This has given Vicki a new relaxation in her writing style, as well.
The prose is spiked with some fantastic photos which Ayo’s and Kearns’ research turned up. The first photo of Estelle and Dorothy sweeps the reader ever more into the prose and gives it a warmer vision. Most of the photos are black and white, which fit the time of the story just perfectly; but then on the rear cover you might enjoy having the colorized front page of a crime magazine to boot. And in the next book in the series, there will be the first appearance of Bonnie and Clyde who actually knew the Davis Gang and often were credited for robberies which they didn’t even commit because both gangs had women involved.
Things just keep getting better. “Black Bottom Bandits” is a must read, for sure.
“Black Bottom Bandits” is available in paperback on Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and through the authors’s Website: https://thedavisgangbooks.com/