Thursday, March 26, 2020

The Blues Don't Care - Paul D. Marks

The Blues Don’t Care is the first entry in Paul D. Marks’s new series featuring Bobby Saxon, a musician turned amateur detective who lives in WWII era Los Angeles. Bobby is a mean piano player in the style of all the popular jazz and swing bands of the day, but he has a big problem. Bobby is white. His favorite bands are exclusively all black. And, at least in Los Angeles, it’s unheard of for a white musician or singer to be part of what would otherwise be an all-black band.

But persistence has a way of paying off. Bobby sits through so many sets of his favorite band, The Booker “Boom Boom” Taylor Orchestra, that Booker starts to recognize him in the crowd - admittedly, it helps that Bobby’s is one of the few white ones in the whole room. But best of all for Bobby, on the night that he and Booker finally speak to each other Booker is short a piano player, a problem Bobby can help solve for him. And although he is not exactly warmly welcomed by all the bandmembers, by the end of the night Bobby has impressed all of them, especially Booker, with his talent.

When he is offered a regular gig with the Booker “Boom Boom” Orchestra, it appears that Bobby’s dreams have become reality. But there is only one way that he will keep the job, and it has nothing to do with Bobby’s musical talent. One of the other bandmembers has been arrested and locked up for a murder he didn’t commit, and Booker asks Bobby, because he is a white man, to prove the man’s innocence. If he pulls it off, the job is Bobby’s. If not, not.

Paul D. Marks
To say that Bobby is in over his head is an understatement. He has no idea where to begin his “investigation,” but before this one is over he manages to get himself (and anyone who dares help him) punched, kicked, tied-up, shot at, and otherwise abused. But Bobby, as we already know, is persistent – and persistence pays off.

Bottom Line: The Blues Don’t Care is a fun, atmospheric look at 1940s Los Angeles that almost perfectly captures the tone of all those old black and white gangster movies of the day. Bobby Saxon is such a fan of those films himself that he uses them as training films in his quest to make himself into a detective capable of solving a murder the police have little interest in solving for themselves. Sometimes that works, and sometimes it makes him crazily reckless. And that’s exactly why The Blues Don’t Care is so much fun. (Well, that and one other thing about Bobby you’re going to have to learn for yourself – trust me.)

Review Copy courtesy of Author and/or Publisher

3 comments:

  1. I'm intrigued by the whole jazz band aspect of this one. And Bobby sounds like one crazy fun character. I'll have to add this one to my ever-growing TBR list. :)

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    1. It's unusual for me to get in on the first book of a series, so maybe I'll try to keep up with this one in "real time" for a change.

      And Bobby, let me tell you, is one of the most entertaining characters I've encountered in a while - wish I could tell you why, but that would spoil it for you.

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    2. Can't wait to find out for myself! :D

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