Rare Sound Press - 2001
ISBN: 0970002403 - Trade Paperback
Amateur Sleuth

Reviewed by Barbara Buhrer, MyShelf.com
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After years of struggling, Liz Hanlon, singer, pianist, and composer, is to be featured with her band in a premier television production that will give them national exposure. Before this happens she discovers her cousin, Gina, has been murdered. There seems to be no motive for the crime and there are no suspects. The pending production is in jeopardy. The sponsors of the production, Sonnie Tucks, owner of the club, and his friend, Tony Perdusian, music entrepreneur, have money problems. Liz has been receiving anonymous threatening notes. After Gina's apartment and Liz's apartment are vandalized, her brother, Carl, a lawyer, insists that she have a bodyguard.

Liz feels that the police aren't doing enough to find Gina's murderer so she launches her own investigation. There are indications that the reasons for the murder are buried in the past with Gina's father and his dealings with his manager Tony, who Liz suspects was backed by the Mafia. Only after there is another murder is Liz able to put the pieces together and reveal the murderer.

Barbara Reed, a jazz musician, has written an interesting novel about the world of performers and their music. She reveals the thrills of performance, the precarious nature of their world, and touches on the possibilities of corruption the industry. It is an easy to read book; fast moving with enough suspense to keep the reader intrigued. There are quite a few references to musical terms which would mean more to those knowledgeable about them. The novel is accompanied by its own CD soundtrack of songs composed by the author about the characters and events in the story. The CD is well worth listening to even if you haven't read the book.

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