Before he wrote four successful crime novels featuring the character Nick Travers, Ace Atkins was a police beat reporter at the Tampa Tribune in the 1990s. While Atkins' fellow Trib alum-turned-writer Tim Dorsey has mined the wackiness of Florida for popular books, Atkins writes in a more noir style, laced with southern locales and a reverence for the blues that belie his Alabama upbringing. The Oxford, Miss., resident returns to Tampa for his latest book, White Shadow, a thinly fictionalized version of the unsolved murder of local mobster Charlie Wall. Atkins says he wanted to write about Wall's death since learning of it while working on a seven-part series for the Trib about a Tampa socialite's 1956 murder. He mined sealed court documents, interviewed Tampa residents and spent some time in Havana researching the novel. As part of his book tour, Atkins returns to Ybor City for a book signing party complete with cocktails, coffee and cigars. Wed., May 10, 7 p.m., King Corona Cigars, 1523 E. Seventh Ave., Ybor City; and Thurs., May 11, 1 p.m., Circle Books, St. Armands Circle, Sarasota. Both events are free.