Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Written In Dead Wax
The Vinyl Detective - Book I
Andrew Cartmel

Titan Books
10 May 2016/ ISBN 9781783297672
Mystery / Contemporary

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde


His business card states that he is the vinyl detective, a hunter down of rare vinyl records. So perhaps it is not surprising when a woman comes to his seedy estate and asks him to locate an extremely rare one for her client. The woman is beautiful, the sum of money promised large, the recording perhaps the rarest jazz record of them all - how can he refuse? But soon he is going to discover that there is more to the world of record collecting than he could possibly imagine, and a lot of it is very dangerous!

This is a large book of nearly 500 pages and could stand some editing, but there is a fair bit in here to enjoy. The book lifts the lid on a nerdy subculture of collectors, and it does help if you are interested in the subject matter and preferably know something about it. Other than that, think noir and a latter day Sam Spade in a modern world of seedy housing and charity shops with updated beautiful women and deadly foes. There are quite a few characters and we do get to know all of them fairly well, along with a healthy dose of comedy and a keen sense for the bizarre in even the most ordinary situations. The author has written SF before, and although this is not that type of thing, it is not hard to imagine. Although there is no actual world building in here, Mr. Cartmel’s depiction of the arcane world of record collecting has the feel of an alien culture laid bare for the reader to wonder at. Surprisingly pacy given its length, this is an imaginative start to a new series.

Reviewed 2016