Dead Man Singing, Frances Housden

Reviewed By
Karen Chisholm

As the blurb puts it - could a rock-star's first big hit have predicted his death? First in what looks like it's going to be a series DEAD MAN SINGING introduces Detective Joni Johns and private investigator Frankie Buchanan who find themselves investigating the death of rock star Jim Munro. Johns because it's her job and Buchanan when he's hired by the members of Munro's band - We Own the Night. Only problem is that Johns is the person responsible for ending Buchanan's police career, so needless to say there's a bit of tension there.

Given the reference to the first big hit, this is a story about the past coming back to bite big time, and there's a dark secret at the centre of all of this - something that Munro's kept from the band for many years. That idea of past catching up is always an interesting one, and the setting here is particularly intriguing - you have to wonder how somebody with idol status can keep a secret, and the stakes if the truth gets out. Definitely a clever idea for a plot, although the execution of the story does need a little tightening up, and maybe work on the style - there's something overtly mannered / regency styled about the tone here that didn't quite jell with the high octane, high stakes, high drama of rock and roll that this reader has in her mind.

A strong investigative pairing, it will be interesting to see if this does expand into a series and how it matures as it goes.


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Could a rock-star's first big hit have predicted his death.

Landing the major murder case of rock star Jim Munro was everything ambitious Detective Joni Johns could ask for. Having little patience for a female running the investigation, the remaining band members of We Own the Night, hire private investigator Frankie Buchanan, a long-time fan of the rock group, to help solve the murder.  

In a group of millionaire rockers, who stands to gain from Munro's death?

As the body count mounts, Frankie is forced to collaborate with Joni, the woman responsible for ending his police career. Racing against time Frankie and Joni need to uncover the dark secret, rock-star idol Munro, had kept from his band brothers all these years.  

But will the truth come out too late?

Review Dead Man Singing, Frances Housden
Karen Chisholm
Thursday, July 2, 2020

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