If you liked The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Sherlock Holmes, you’ll love the adventures of Truman Capote (author of In Cold Blood) and Nelle (Ellen spelled backward) Harper Lee (author of To Kill A Mockingbird). As young friends in the tiny town of Monroeville, Alabama, during the Great Depression, Tru and Nelle become acquainted. The novel opens with even less than usual going on in the slow-moving, small town.
This book is written as fiction based on fact, and the author “recasts their time together” in a narrative that is engaging and probably very close to accurate.
Many cases open up to Sherlock Holmes (Truman Capote) and Watson (Harper Lee) who are joined by “Big Boy” as Inspector Lestrade (who never had a clue, according to Nelle), aka Jennings Falk, a real resident and childhood friend of the pair. Jennings adds a section at the end of the fictionalized account as “Tall tales told by Tru and Nelle,” which he recounted.
Foreshadowings of To Kill a Mockingbird in the real persons and events from the kids’ childhood emerge, such as Sonny, a neighbor boy (who is the basis for Boo Radley, and a scene in which the Klu Klux Klan show up at Truman’s going away( costume-dress) Halloween party. The result is hilarious, entertaining reading and just plain fun.
The author’s notes at the end of the narrative deal with the eventual ending of the Capote-Lee friendship. I felt it was an accurate surmise at what actually caused the dissolution of the friendship and maybe one reason for Harper Lee’s reclusive lifestyle.
The story itself is worth the read, but the whole volume is a good investment of one’s reading time for anyone who follows literary events and is interested in where authors get their “ideas.”
I highly recommend this 2016 publication.