The Dead Play On by Heather Graham

March 27th, 2015 kimbacaffeinate Review 51 Comments

27th Mar
The Dead Play On by Heather Graham
The Dead Play On
by Heather Graham
Series: Cafferty and Quinn #3
Published by: Harlequin
Genres: Mystery, Paranormal
Source: Publisher
Purchase: Amazon
Goodreads
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Play a song for me… Musicians are being murdered in New Orleans. But Arnie Watson apparently died by his own hand. When Tyler Anderson plays the saxophone he inherited from Arnie, a soldier and musician who died soon after his return, he believes he sees visions of his friend's life—and death. He becomes convinced Arnie was murdered and that the instrument had something to do with whatever happened, and with whatever's happening all over the city… Tyler knows his theory sounds crazy to the police, so he approaches Danni Cafferty, hoping she and Michael Quinn will find out what the cops couldn't. Or wouldn't. After all, Cafferty and Quinn have become famous for solving unusual crimes.  They're partners in their personal lives, too. Quinn's a private investigator and Danni works with him. When they look into the case, they discover a secret lover of Arnie's and a history of jealousies and old hatreds that leads them back to the band Arnie once played with—and Tyler plays with now. They 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

The Dead Play On by Heather Graham is the third book in her Cafferty and Quinn paranormal series set in New Orleans. Paranormal woo-woo, musicians and murder have Quinn and Cafferty searching for a missing saxophone and a killer.

Five reasons to curl up with The Dead Play On

  • The characters Graham has created in this series draw me back repeatedly. What a motley cast of characters. The main characters are Danni, an artist who now owns her father’s antique shop on Royal Street, and her boyfriend, live-in-lover Michael Quinn, an ex-police officer turned private investigator. Together they tackle cases involving unusual items from haunted paintings to gifted objects. Toss in a Scott with a wicked sense of humor, a Voodoo priestess, a young man trying to stay clean, and a man of the cloth. Then there is Wolf, a massive dog who senses evil intent.
  • The setting is New Orleans and Graham takes us to Royal Street and into the strange little boutiques,  and night clubs. She really saturates her tales with accurate details about the city itself. Graham balance sight, the characters and the case making me want to travel to the Big Easy. (Which I am doing tomorrow. Squee!)
  • Each book involves a new case, and The Dead Play On, tells the tale of a saxophone reported to gift the player as they play. A young solider owned it and was one of the best sax players in the city until he wound up dead. His best friend Tyler and fellow musician believes foul play was involved and asks Quinn and Cafferty to investigate. The case has bodies piling up and a local band in danger.
  • The paranormal elements in each case are intriguing and the villain in this tale was chilling. Graham does a great job of keeping things realistic, laying out red herrings and introducing characters related to the case. Danni in addition to collecting and removing “possessed or cursed” artifacts also has a gift of site. These usually come to her at night and her method for releasing them is unique. It does not necessarily give them answers but steers them in the right direction.
  • Quinn and Cafferty make a great couple and with each book, we see them grow, stretch and strengthen their relationship. These two place themselves in danger but use common sense and keep the law in the loop. The police and coroner actually call Quinn in on cases. The romance while present is kept nicely in the background giving the books a more murder mystery feel without falling into the cozy genre.

While each of the books in the Cafferty and Quinn series can be read as a standalone I recommend reading them in order to fully appreciate the characters. The Dead Play On was a fun read and I look forward to the next installment.

About Heather Graham

Also published as Heather Graham Pozzessere and Shannon Drake. New York Times and USA Today best-selling author Heather Graham majored in theater arts at the University of South Florida. After a stint of several years in dinner theater, back-up vocals, and bartending, she stayed home after the birth of her third child and began to write, working on short horror stories and romances. After some trial and error, she sold her first book, WHEN NEXT WE LOVE, in 1982 and since then, she has written over one hundred novels and novellas including category, romantic suspense, historical romance, vampire fiction, time travel, occult, and Christmas holiday fare. She wrote the launch books for the Dell’s Ecstasy Supreme line, Silhouette’s Shadows, and for Harlequin’s mainstream fiction imprint, Mira Books.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. She's a self-professed Whovian, as well as a Supernatural, and Sherlock Holmes junkie, She enjoys sharing books, tips, recipes and hosting the Sunday Post. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat... Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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51 Responses to “The Dead Play On by Heather Graham”

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I love her paranormal investigative series/trilogies

  1. Lorna

    I used to read her romances years and years ago. I did buy one of her books fairly recently, but I am not sure if it is part of this series or not. It’s just sitting in my tbr pile. This series does sound really good, so maybe I should check which one I bought! Great review 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I am not a fan of her standalone books at all, but love the series/trilogies with mysteries to solve 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I am not a fan of her standalone books, but love her series/trilogies involving mysteries and murder 🙂

  2. Ro

    Like Benish and Lorna, I used to read her work years ago, and can’t remember why I stopped. (lol) This book sounds fantastic and makes me want to go back to read the others so I can stay in order. Very unique story line that sounds really interesting. Enjoyed your review.
    Ro recently posted…IN THE KNOW WITH RO: IRISH MINT BROWNIESMy Profile

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I enjoy them Ro, and always now I am getting a good read 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Oh nice, and really all of the Krewe books work as standalone..I like how every 3 or 4 books she changes up and introduces a new special brand.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I know exactly what you mean Michelle and I keep adding new series to my every growing lists!

  3. Laurel-Rain Snow

    I have been itching to try this author…and a series set in New Orleans sounds awesome! I love almost anything set in the South, even though I have never been there in real life. Want to go, though.

    Thanks for sharing…
    Laurel-Rain Snow recently posted…AUTHOR’S HOME PAGEMy Profile

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I am in Louisiana now Laurel…and yes NOLA appeals to me.

      • kimbacaffeinate

        Awe, thanks Loupe..I am glad you turned me into an audio addict, and that I have helped you find new reads:)

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Me too Lauren, we are about 3 hours from NOLA and I cannot wait to begin exploring..I will be visiting Royal Street for sure 🙂

  4. Ramona

    Squee! So excited for ya!!! 🙂 As for the book, though I’d never heard of the series, I can see the allure already. The characters seem like the kind you won’t forget easily, and the plot has that just-right sort of quality that is the mark of experience in good writing. I think I’ll give this one a try, thanks. Have an amazing weekend 🙂
    Ramona recently posted…Sarcasm in YA Books: Sarah Rees BrennanMy Profile

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I love how diverse the characters are, each has a unique personality and individually you wouldn’t image them as such a close knit group of friends but they truly work

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Love the setting Grace and the way the characters form this team

    • kimbacaffeinate

      :snort: book addict dilemma for sure..I usually end up buying them and forgetting to read them 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Her books are cool and I love the added element..plus her settings are always so cool

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I hear you, I have been diving in mid-stream more and more

    • kimbacaffeinate

      So do I ..no cliffies just enjoyable, yet familiar read

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I love that too Cyn, and yes the romance is just another element in their daily lives and the case is center stage

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Yeah I was excited that all the books are based in NOLA, but we do travel abroad in book two

  5. Livia

    Ooooh, sounds so good! I thought about giving it a read already, the blurb is totally hooking, but I wasn’t sure about it. Now I am, the New Orleans setting sounds awesome all on its own, plus the characters sound great. Would it work as a stand alone read, or do you think I should totally go through the first 2?
    Livia recently posted…The Diamond Conspiracy by Pip Ballantine, Tee MorrisMy Profile

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Yes it will work as a standalone she gives enough deets to allow you to figure out the players.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I do not like her standalone novels but love these series and trilogies

  6. Berls

    Heather Grahm sounds so familiar, but I just checked and I haven’t read her. She must just be really popular. And I can see why she would be – this sounds great! You know I love my paranormal woo-woo and NOLA! Thanks for sharing!
    Berls recently posted…Sunday Post | 79th EditionMy Profile

  7. kimbacaffeinate

    I am not a fan of her standalone work, but love her trilogies/series with mystery and murder.

  8. Lark

    Ooh, sounds good! I like paranormal especially when it’s more the psychic stuff, and the music aspect is really intriguing to me as a musician! I think I have one of the books in this series (maybe) – I’ll have to go check. If not, I’ll be borrowing them from the library eventually!
    Lark recently posted…Sunday Post – 3/29/15My Profile