cover image I LOVE THE SOUND OF BREAKING CLASS: An Inspector Christy Kennedy Mystery

I LOVE THE SOUND OF BREAKING CLASS: An Inspector Christy Kennedy Mystery

Paul Charles, . . St. Martin's Minotaur, $22.95 (240pp) ISBN 978-0-312-31902-1

In British author Charles's first Insp. Christy Kennedy mystery (published in the U.K. in 1997), the humane and vulnerable CID detective's love interest, reporter ann rea, asks him to look into the disappearance of a record producer, who eventually turns up dead. Kennedy and his subordinates set about conducting routine interviews and following up obvious leads grounded in the dead man's checkered career. Charles convincingly melds the growing romantic relationship between Kennedy and rea, complete with insecurities and the baggage of previous partners, with a classic whodunit plot. A music manager and promoter, the author does a fine job of depicting the cutthroat deals and corrupt schemes rampant in the modern music industry. Americans familiar with payola scandals will find the more sophisticated methods of manipulating record sales fascinating. Fans of Lovesey's Peter Diamond series in particular, and traditional mystery fans in general, will welcome Charles's successful integration of an impossible crime element into a contemporary police procedural with a logical and clever twist ending. Agent, Jessica Kaye at Kaye & Mills. (Nov. 18)

FYI: St. Martin's published the second in the series, Last Boat to Camden Town, in 2003. Both titles were first made available in the U.S. by Do-Not Press.