I hear music and heartbeats… Review: The Dead Play On by Heather Graham

DeadPlayOnGrahamTyler Anderson plays the sax his friend Arnie left to him and sees scenes from Arnie’s life and death. He is convinced that Arnie’s apparent suicide was murder. He turns to Danni Cafferty and Michael Quinn for help since they are known to solve unusual mysteries.

At the same time that Tyler is sharing this with Danni, Detective Larue has called in Quinn to consult on a case of a musician who has been tortured, killed, and all of his instruments have been stolen. Something strange is going on in New Orleans again.

The key to this mystery though is in the last few lines of the synopsis: “They (Danni Cafferty and Michael Quinn) discover that sometimes, for some people, the line between passion and obsession is hard to draw. Only in uncovering the truth can they hope to save others—and themselves—from the deadly hands of a killer.”

It’s a good mystery. The title seems a little misleading. There are no dead playing on. And even Arnie’s magical sax seems to be subject to interpretation by everyone in the book including the killer.

The secondary characters from the first 2 books are relegated to minor status in this one. The relationship between Danni Cafferty and Michael Quinn is going as strong as ever. The romance is interspersed with the danger and serves to break the tension for the most part. The relationship between Billie and Hattie is mentioned, but not expanded on. There are a lot of names to keep track of in the band that Billie and Danni play with while Quinn plays with another group as they join the music scene to try and solve the crime.

Overall, it’s a good mystery book with a New Orleans background. I gave it 3.5 stars. I liked it and I would have given it 4, but it’s not exactly what I expected after reading the first 2 books in the series. All the musicians had heartbeats and the magic is questionable.

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