by Heather Graham
Series: Cafferty and Quinn #3
Published by: Harlequin
Genres: Mystery, Paranormal
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.
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