cover image The Vinyl Detective: Victory Disc

The Vinyl Detective: Victory Disc

Andrew Cartmel. Titan, $14.95 trade paper (432p) ISBN 978-1-783297-71-9

Cartmel’s third mystery starring the British investigator known simply as the Vinyl Detective (after 2017’s The Run-Out Groove) effectively integrates the lead’s unusual specialty of searching out rare records into an intricately constructed plot. The Vinyl Detective makes a fortuitous find: a rare recording of the Flare Path Orchestra, “the finest British swing band” of WWII. After he shares news of his find online, he’s contacted by Joan Honeyland, whose father, Lucian, a bomber squadron commander, led that band. Joan retains him to find other records by the band, whatever the price. In the course of tracking down former members of Lucian’s unit, the sleuth learns of a murder connected with the Flare Path Orchestra: one of its arrangers, Johnny Thomas, was executed for strangling a band groupie, Gillian Gadon, despite doubts about his guilt. Before long, the investigator has a contemporary killing to solve. Though readers may find it hard to accept the hero’s breezy attitude toward peril, the clever resolution of the story lines is impressive. Fair-play fans, even those without an interest in music, will be pleased. (May)