WKBS Cover

Who Killed Buster Sparkle? Now Available

A ghost. A drag queen. An invasion of ants. Welcome to Clover, Mississippi.

Who Killed Buster Sparkle? is distributed through Ingram. This means your local bookshop can order it, even if not in stock. You may also purchase copies through these independent bookstores:

Starkville, MS

Greenwood, MS

Oxford, MS

Water Valley, MS

Dallas, TX

Lexington, VA

Memphis, TN


Just a little bit of love….

#3 Raspberry Lane is the delightful convergence of the underworld and the queer underground of Clover, Mississippi. Here, possession takes on a new meaning, love has no color, and gender is gloriously spectral. In Who Killed Buster Sparkle?, Bateman has recreated the American South, making it tragically new and hauntingly utopian.
— Michael Carroll, Stella Maris and Other Key West Stories, and winner of the 2015 Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters for little reef and other stories
John Bateman’s fine first novel is not only a smart exploration of race, sexuality, class, and community in the New South, it’s an ingenious murder mystery where the unlikely detectives are a public-spirited drag queen and a ghost with amnesia. Original and entertaining.
— Christopher Bram, author of Gods and Monsters
It is rare to find fresh ways to address tough social issues, but a ghost named Buster Sparkle who can only been seen by a drag queen named Peaches are up to the task as they try and figure out life and death in Mississippi.
— Alison Buehler, author of Growing the Good Life
Loosely described as a ‘Southern gothic’ novel, this simple moniker is an injustice: Who Killed Buster Sparkle? is far more than that. This book is an exploration of loneliness, relationships, and the true meaning of family. Come for the intrigue and stay for the well-rounded characters that draw you into their complex lives.
— Mark Oliver, writer, executive producer of Prisoner Zero
Who Killed Buster Sparkle? is a mischievous, haunting, and mesmerizing murder mystery in which a dead, black ghost and a white drag queen mama have to learn to listen to and trust one another in hot, rural Mississippi. There is deep truth for all of us in this fictional story, and some of the best theology this side of JK Rowling and Stephen King. John W. Bateman’s debut novel is a sacred treasure.
— Rev. Bert Montgomery, author of A Rabbi & a Preacher Go to a Pride Parade