Fade to Blue
Poisoned Pen, Apr 5 2011, $24.95
Though he is part of the San Francisco jazz scene, Evan Horne accepts a paying gig in Los Angeles. Actually in Malibu where he has been retained to train actor Ryan Stiles to appear on the silver screen as if he playing jazz piano.
However, the spoiled film star rages during a paparazzi attack and a photographer dies. Evan wants to go home as the money is not worth the effort of dealing with the pampered Ryan even in the plush beach home. However, Stiles’ manager offers him the chance to score the film if he continues to teach the actor to look as if he plays the piano. The police determine Stiles is innocent of the death, but while filming a second person dies and a blackmailer extorts money from the beleaguered star. Evan. assisted by his FBI girlfriend Andie Lawrence and LAPD Police Lieutenant Danny Cooper, investigates while serial killer Gillian Sims escapes from prison.
The latest Evan Horne mystery is an engaging tale that is fun to read, but lacks the intriguing jazz pedigree of Shades of Blue, Looking for Chet Baker and Bird Lives! The story line is fast-paced as Evan decides to do what he believes is the right thing though he detests his mercurial student. Although the serial killer subplot feels forced and unnecessary, fans will enjoy Bill Moody’s entertaining musical mystery.