Shades of Blue

Shades of Blue

4.0 1
by Bill Moody
     
 

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After several months of successful work in London and Amsterdam with American expatriate Fletcher Paige, musician Evan Horne returns to the states and settles in the San Francisco Bay Area. There he reunites with his girlfriend, FBI agent, Andie Lawrence. And Evan quickly makes inroads into the Bay Area jazz scene.

Life is good until a phone call from a Los

Overview

After several months of successful work in London and Amsterdam with American expatriate Fletcher Paige, musician Evan Horne returns to the states and settles in the San Francisco Bay Area. There he reunites with his girlfriend, FBI agent, Andie Lawrence. And Evan quickly makes inroads into the Bay Area jazz scene.

Life is good until a phone call from a Los Angeles attorney turns his life upside down. Evan’s old friend and former mentor, pianist Calvin Hughes, has died and named Evan as his sole beneficiary. Hughes has left him his small Hollywood house, money, and all of his possessions.

But when Evan begins to play through some hand-written sheet music, he recognizes one as a song from the landmark Miles Davis recording Birth of the Cool, and another from Kind of Blue.
Evan is soon on a whirlwind journey across the country to find answers from his family and to confront his mother. Was Calvin Hughes the uncredited composer of one or both of these tunes, or was it simply Hughes’s transcriptions from the recordings? What was her relationship with Calvin Hughes? And just how did Jazz come into the equation?

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Evan's sixth case offers an infectiously mellow first person narrative, a nostalgic undertone, and a nicely drawn combo of sidemen"  —Kirkus Reviews

"Looking for Chet Baker is thoughful entertainment and like Baker's music it is open to anyone"  —New York Times on Looking for Chet Baker

Publishers Weekly

Moody's tepid sixth Evan Horne mystery (after 2002's Looking for Chet Baker) finds the jazz pianist at peace, living in Northern California and reunited with his girlfriend, FBI agent Andie Lawrence. Then Horne learns of the death of his friend and mentor, pianist Calvin Hughes, whose will leaves everything to him. Sorting through Hughes's belongings in Los Angeles, Horne finds a note and a photo of Hughes next to a baby carriage, inexplicably taped to the bottom of a drawer. Why the cryptic secrecy? And who's the kid? More interestingly, Horne also finds some aging handwritten sheet music, which might be original compositions of two famous Miles Davis recordings. Tracking down the story of these pieces of ephemera provides the basic plot, but the narrative, padded by two unconnected subplots, never generates enough interest to involve the reader. Jazz fans may enjoy the knowing references to music and jazz history, but mystery buffs will find this novel tone-deaf. (Feb.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal

Evan Horne is as good an investigator (Looking for Chet Baker) as he is a jazz pianist. Having returned to San Francisco from Europe, he settles into the local jazz scene until his former teacher and mentor dies and leaves Evan his estate, including some sheet music that may have come from two landmark Miles Davis recordings.


—Jo Ann Vicarel
Kirkus Reviews
A jazz pianist turns sleuth once more after an amazing discovery at his dead mentor's crib. Keyboard stylist Evan Horne is riding high after an extended tour of some of Europe's top jazz venues. Returning home to San Francisco, he rekindles his romance with Andie Lawrence, a rising star in the FBI, and dives back into the Frisco music scene, even lining up some exciting work in New York. An unexpected call from L.A. attorney Roger Scott sends him on a different path. Evan's aged mentor Calvin Hughes, who worked frequently with Miles Davis, has died, and it falls to Evan to clean out his overstuffed little house. Taped to the bottom of a drawer, he finds an old photograph and a note from Cal. The note identifies the photo, which pictures a handful of people, as a clue and challenges Evan to solve a mystery that becomes more urgent when Evan learns that he's listed as Cal's next of kin. Evan's probe ranges far in time and place, taking him to Boston and New York as well as all over L.A. Andie survives a dangerous attack, and a young woman named Dana Trent, Cal's companion in his final days, provides romantic temptation and duplicity. Evan's sixth case (Looking for Chet Baker, 2002, etc.) offers an infectiously mellow first-person narrative, a nostalgic undertone and a nicely drawn combo of sidemen (and women).

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781590588970
Publisher:
Poisoned Pen Press
Publication date:
06/07/2011
Series:
Evan Horne Series
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
250
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

Mr. Moody is the author of many books and short stories. He lives in Sonoma, CA.

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Shades of Blue 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Back from Europe (see LOOKING FOR CHET BAKER), jazz pianist Evan Horne and his girlfriend FBI agent Andie Lawrence move in together in Monte Rio in Northern California. Life is great until he learns his teacher-friend, pianist Calvin Hughes died Calvin left his entire estate to his favorite pupil. Grieving though he had not seen Calvin in ages, Horne travels to Hughes¿s Los Angeles home to sort through the estate. When he finds an odd note with a photograph of Hughes standing next to a baby carriage, taped to the bottom of a drawer, Horne wonders what the picture means and why did Calvin conceal it. Horne also discovers some very old handwritten sheet music, two famous Miles Davis recordings. More interested in the music than the baby, Horne investigates how Hughes ended up with the treasures. --- The investigation seems superfluous lacking the usual crescendo of a Horne inquiry. Still jazz fans will appreciate the tidbits especially the Mile Davis subplot as the references to music is cleverly used to enhance the tale as the music is the magic. More for jazz lovers than mystery fans, SHADES OF BLUE is entertaining but far from Bill Moody¿s usual concerto. --- Harriet Klausner