Speaking of Crime

June 1, 2014

A very welcome addition for the growing army of fans of Joan Merrill’s series of jazz-connected detective novels featuring Casey McKie comes with a newly-available audio book. This features Casey’s latest case, And All That Madness, a tale in which Casey forsakes San Francisco, her home turf, to investigate a New York mystery. The reader is Alisa Clancy, radio host of Morning Cup of Jazz at KCSM Jazz91. Those lucky enough to have heard Alisa Clancy before will not need telling, but for those less fortunate, as indeed am I, she has a warm, husky, thoroughly engaging vocal sound that admirably tells this tale of intrigue surrounding the long-ago death of Georgia Valentine, jazz singing star of the 1950s. As the McKie fan army knows, almost all of the characters, major and minor, in Joan Merrill’s books, are jazz people and here they include musicians and agents, former lovers of the dead diva, criminals and cops, jazz archivists and fans. All of them are realistically portrayed in the author’s words and Alisa Clancy’s voice is a perfect fit for the mood, effortlessly conjuring up the atmosphere, then and now, of New York’s jazz scene.Jam session For those who have not seen my earlier page about the Casey McKie books (01 February 2013), the death of Georgia Valentine has always been thought to have resulted from a self-administered drug overdose. A newly-discovered letter opens up new lines of inquiry and in following up on them, Casey McKie encounters Georgia’s ex-husband, a former narcotics agent, a drug dealer, a mafia boss, and a wealthy socialite, among many wholly believable characters before eventually unearthing shocking truths about the jazz legend’s life and death.

The crisp pace and snappy dialogue of Joan Merrill’s books is brought to vibrant life by Alisa Clancy and this will appeal both to lovers of crime fiction and to jazz fans. Those who are fans of both genres will be especially delighted.

And All That Madness by Joan Merrill, read by Alisa Clancy, can be downloaded at audible.com or a CD purchased at joanmerrill.com.

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