America's brightest jazz pianist, Evan Horne never thought things could get worse after a car accident leaves him with an injured hand and no career, until his ex-wife Sharon pleads for help in a blackmail plot against his former boss, Lonnie Cole. Reprint. PW.
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A music-biz insider uses his connections with slippery agents, sneaky producers and his fellow jazz artists to solve a blackmailing case in this entertaining debut set in L.A. Evan Horne, once a career jazz pianist, is recuperating from a car accident that damaged his right--aka "solo"--hand. His former employer, jazz singer Lonnie Cole, isn't doing too well either. Although Lonnie has just collaborated on a promising crossover album with a country and western star, Lonnie has received an envelope of photos that show him and the C & W man in compromising positions at a wild party. A note enclosed with the prints names Evan as the go-between to carry $1 million to the villainous photographer. Though insisting that he's not involved in the scheme, Evan grudgingly agrees to act as an amateur investigator and warily undertakes his new role, sticking with it even after he's hit on the head and pushed, unconscious, into a marina. Moody creates a tangle of clues and motives that Evan determinedly untangles despite his lack of PI experience. Jazz fans hoping for descriptions of artistry will find workaday musicians instead, but Moody's portrayals of the backstabbing music industry and a royalties scam ring true.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
A week before The Soul of Country, King of Soul Lonnie Cole's duet album with Mr. Country and Western Charlie Crisp, is scheduled to sweep the American Music Awards, Lonnie gets a photo in the mail--a shot of him in bed with Crisp (passed out drunk after a party, though that's not how it looks)--together with a note naming former jazz pianist Evan Horne as the bagman for a joint $1 million blackmail demand. Evan, whose wife Sharon left him for Lonnie just about the time an accident left him with a right hand useless for carrying the melody, reluctantly agrees to gather some information while the money's being collected, but the payoff is hijacked at the drop and the police announce that Evan's typewriter wrote the blackmail demand. It's a setup, of course--and it isn't long before Evan realizes the whole scheme is a cover for an elaborate plan to skim Lonnie's royalties from his last album. This first novel peoples its savory music-industry background with such forgettable characters that it actually gets less interesting as it goes along. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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