Play a song for me…
Musicians are being murdered in New Orleans. But Arnie Watson apparently died by his own hand. When Tyler Anderson plays the saxophone he inherited from Arnie, a soldier and musician who died soon after his return, he believes he sees visions of his friend's life—and death. He becomes convinced Arnie was murdered and that the instrument had something to do with whatever happened, and with whatever's happening all over the city…
Tyler knows his theory sounds crazy to the police, so he approaches Danni Cafferty, hoping she and Michael Quinn will find out what the cops couldn't. Or wouldn't. After all, Cafferty and Quinn have become famous for solving unusual crimes.
They're partners in their personal lives, too. Quinn's a private investigator and Danni works with him. When they look into the case, they discover a secret lover of Arnie's and a history of jealousies and old hatreds that leads them back to the band Arnie once played with—and Tyler plays with now.
They discover that sometimes, for some people, the line between passion and obsession is hard to draw. Only in uncovering the truth can they hope to save others—and themselves—from the deadly hands of a killer.Hardcover, 336 pages
Three stars: A good murder mystery set in New Orleans.
Danni pauses outside one of the night clubs on Royal Street, drawn in by the music. A handsome saxophone player holds the audience in his sway with his exceptional music. He catches Danni's eye, and he seems to know her. Startled Danni hurries home, only to find that the saxophone player has followed her. His name is Tyler and he does indeed know Danni. They went to high school together. Tyler begs Danni for help. He believes one of their fellow classmates, Arnie, who was recently found dead of an apparent drug overdose, was murdered. Arnie had a special saxophone that is now in his possession, and Tyler thinks that someone is murdering musicians to find it. Can Danni and Quinn discover the truth behind the saxophone and catch another killer?
What I Liked:
- I like that you can jump right into this series at anytime and not feel lost. This is my second book in this series and even though I still haven't read the first book, I have had no trouble. Ms. Graham does an excellent job with recap, and she provides plenty of background information so the reader is never lost. If you are on the hunt for a good paranormal, murder mystery series, try these books.
- At the heart of the series are Quinn and Danni. Quinn is a private investigator who has seen his fair share of paranormal ongoings. Danni his partner and lover, is rather new to the whole paranormal scene. She inherited her father's shop not knowing that in the basement is a large collection of paranormal items, some cursed and even deadly. Together, Quinn and Danni help the local law enforcement solve crimes that delve into the paranormal. I like the way the two work together, and I enjoy their chemistry. With each and installment, the romance and partnership continues to grow and strengthen. This time around, it was all about boundaries and learning to trust the other's judgement. I am liking where the relationship is going, and I am eager to see it continue to grow.
- The mystery in this one is solid. There are of course, lots of suspects, motives and leads to follow up on that will keep you guessing until the final reveal. I have to admit, I had no idea who the murder was until the finale. My conjectures were wrong. I always like a mystery that keeps me guessing.
- I loved the New Orleans setting. Ms. Graham delivers the flavor of New Orleans with all of its unique shops, eccentric citizens and darker side perfectly. It was easy to settle in and feel like I was in New Orleans traversing the streets with the characters.
- This book has a rather large cast of characters, and sometimes that doesn't always work, but in this case it does. Everyone meshes together like one big happy family, and I liked that.
- The story opens with two gruesome murders, but after that, things tame down. The violence and creepiness in this book are pared back compared to the last book. I liked that this one was a bit more tame especially when it comes to blood and gore.
- The ending is fast and furious and it draws everything to a satisfactory close. There are no loose ends and no cliffhangers. With each book in this series, you get a complete story which enables you to read them in any order.
And The Not So Much:
- I was disappointed that this one didn't have any paranormal items or occurrences. When everything was said and done, there weren't any ghosts, demons or cursed or magical items. I have come to expect that in a Cafferty and Quinn book, so I was let down.
- Even though I appreciated there were only two murders, I felt that the action and suspense dwindled significantly as the book wore on. Not much happens to notch up the terror. The last book was creepy good, and this on in comparison is a fizzle.
- The mystery was good, but overall, this book was missing something. It lacked the creepy atmosphere, scary tension and paranormal flair. This ended up reading like a regular murder mystery. I wanted ghosts and curses!
The Dead Play On was a bit of a disappointment. While it featured a good mystery, I missed the paranormal. I thought the story lacked the creepy tension and scariness that I was expecting. It is worth reading for the characters and the setting. I am hoping next time out, Ms. Graham will get this series back to its paranormal roots.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.