Sunday, July 24, 2016

Written in Dead Wax by Andrew Cartmel

Written in Dead Wax
by Andrew Cartmel

The cover to this mystery is what caught my eye, and a quick read of the back-cover blurb made it sound intriguing — the sleuth in question is The Vinyl Detective, a British loner who spends most of his days roaming the English countryside, visiting second-hand stores and charity shops, browsing their collections of old style vinyl LP recordings, looking for collectible titles that he can “flip” online into a handy profit. When a joke business card he had printed that claims he can find any record for anyone actually results in a client hiring him to find a rare jazz recording, he finds himself in a race with a femme fatale, brutal thugs and other mysterious figures to find this obscure album. Even finding the album doesn’t end the mystery, as he gets sucked into a much larger storyline, involving a legendary but tragic figure in jazz history, a beautiful singer from the 1950s, and a recording studio that went out of business under mysterious circumstances.

The world of vinyl LP collectors, and the recording industry of the 1950s and 1960s are fascinating topics to serve as the centerpiece for a mystery…which ultimately turns into a murder mystery. The settings of London and its suburbs, and then Southern California in the second half of the book, are well drawn. The supporting cast of friends and foes of The Vinyl Detective are all quirky all the ladies seem to fall for the charms of our hero a little two willingly, considering that he’s a bit of an odd duck. And the quirkiest bit of all is that our hero’s name is never revealed in the entire book…but, as a reader, you don’t mind. I enjoyed this one quite a bit, and am pleased to see in the endpages that there are at least two future volumes in this series forthcoming.

[ publisher’s official The Vinyl Detective: Written in Dead Wax web page ] | [ Andrew Cartmel page on Wikipedia ]

Recommended by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

Have you read this? What did you think? Did you find this review helpful?

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