cover image Dead Beat

Dead Beat

Val McDermid. St. Martin's Press, $16.95 (207pp) ISBN 978-0-312-08754-8

Set in Manchester, England, which its natives claim as the home of rock 'n' roll, the forthright and unpretentious sleuth introduced in this fast-paced story is sure to win readers' hearts. Kate Brannigan is hired by rock legend Jett to locate his former partner and lover, Moira. Kate finds Moira, a rehabilitated drug user, living with--and in love with--Maggie, an ex-counselor. Moira reluctantly agrees to return to Jett to help his career while Kate goes back to her investigation of counterfeiters and her own lover, a rock journalist. But six weeks later Moira is murdered--beaned by a tenor sax--and Jett wants Kate to find which member of his inner circle is the culprit. As Kate questions Jett's entourage, she uncovers why everyone closest to him wanted Moira dead. McDermid's ( Open and Shut ) snappy, often comic prose keeps the story humming as Kate is drawn deeper and deeper into the twisted plot of her first murder investigation. (Feb.)