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Shades of Blue    by Bill Moody order for
Shades of Blue
by Bill Moody
Order:  USA  Can
Poisoned Pen, 2008 (2008)
Hardcover, Softcover
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Bill Moody's has become a familiar author name with now four books featuring Evan Horne as the protagonist. Moody brings the jazz music scene to life in Shades of Blue. His knowledge of music - and of those who have made it big in music - is encyclopedic. And he shares that expertise with his readers. I have to admit, having never played an instrument nor even sung I really did not expect to be held in thrall by Moody's latest. Boy, was I wrong. This highly readable mystery kept me involved the whole way through.

Evan Horne returns to the States after a sojourn in Europe. He arrives home to find his mentor Calvin Hughes has died and left Evan whatever he owned. Which is not a heck of a lot. However, taped to the bottom of a bureau drawer is music that Evan thinks Calvin may have written. Music accredited to famous musicians. Could this be possible? And, if so, how does Calvin prove it? And what repercussions would there be? The chase is on and brings unexpected happenings that convince Evan he is on the right track.

While enjoying a well-written book with believable characters in Shades of Blue, the reader can also wallow in references to music and its performers. Seems like all the big names in jazz and many of the great songs of the jazz era are brought to life in these pages. Moody is a professional drummer, which could account for his love of music and its environs. He also teaches at Sonoma State University in northern California. And his latest Evan Horne mystery is well worth a read.

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