cover image The Sound of the Trumpet: An Evan Horne Mystery

The Sound of the Trumpet: An Evan Horne Mystery

Bill Moody. Walker & Company, $21.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-8027-3291-0

Moody (Death of a Tenor Man) has been justly praised for his ability to transform the excitement of jazz into words. Himself a jazz drummer and deejay, Moody writes beautifully about music, as when he describes a vibes player in a Las Vegas lounge: ""He brushes over the chord changes like a runner circling the bases after hitting a triple, carefully touching each base but veering outside the base path."" But the mystery in his third book about piano player and snooper Evan Horne is very thin, and Moody's decision to tell it in the present tense is quickly irritating and occasionally confusing. Horne--still recovering from a hand injury and trying to sort out various aspects of his personal life--goes to Las Vegas to help out a friend by verifying the authenticity of some tapes supposedly made by the legendary trumpet ace Clifford Brown just before his death in a 1956 auto crash. But things quickly go wrong. The man who owns the tapes is killed, Horne winds up with an old trumpet that might be Brown's, and a mysterious (and highly unlikely) collector named Cross is tabbed as the killer. Moody uses his musical knowledge to introduce a gallery of colorful figures to support the moderately interesting Horne and delivers a distinctively pleasurable, if not especially compelling, mystery. (Feb.)