Nominated for an Edgar Award and shortlisted for a John Creasy "New Blood" Dagger Award in Great Britain.
"Sweetsmoke is a fascinating and gripping novel about the Civil War. The slave, Cassius Howard, is a great fictional character, and his story is part mystery, part love story, and a harrowing portrait of slavery that reads with the immense power of the slave narratives. A tour de force for David Fuller."
-- Pat Conroy, author of Beach Music and South of Broad
"David Fuller vividly and movingly describes the life of Cassius, a slave on a Virginia tobacco plantation. Meticulously researched and beautifully written, Sweetsmoke resonates with unforgettable characters and is a gripping story of loss and survival."
-- Robert Hicks, author of The Widow of the South
"With Sweetsmoke, David Fuller gives an extraordinarily nuanced, privileged, and convincing view of the world of slavery during the American Civil War, and of the hearts and minds of the men and women who had to live in that world."
-- Madison Smartt Bell, author of All Soul's Rising and Toussant Louverture
"Sweetsmoke, David Fuller's first novel, is bittersweet. Even though the slave Cassius is favored by his owner on Sweetsmoke Plantation, his punishment and degradation are startlingly brutal. But Cassius is smart, clever and, unusual in 1862, he can read. These are advantages when he tries to solve the murder of a free black woman whose involvement in the Civil War surprises him. The beauty in this book lies in the writing. Fuller also is a screenwriter, and his people, places and plot turns shine as vividly here as they would on the big screen. He creates characters complex enough for readers to pity, detest and, in some cases, even admire all at the same time."
-- USA Today
“Sweetsmoke” … is a suspenseful novel rich in period detail. Life in the slave quarters goes on with its daily round of brutal indignities, which Fuller portrays in compelling detail. The plot unfolds at a brisk pace, and Fuller does an especially good job with the battle scenes. Cassius … grows steadily in understanding as he faces more risks, and his growth as a character is the novel’s greatest strength. “Sweetsmoke” is a well-imagined and researched novel of survival and courage.
--The Atlanta Journal Constitution
"Authentic. Fast paced. Captivating."
-- The New York Times Book Review