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Solo Hand [Hardcover]

Bill Moody
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

February 1994
Evan Horne, formerly one of America's brightest jazz pianists, was involved in a car accident that left him with an injured hand and no career. He didn't think things could get worse--until his ex-wife, Sharon, who now lives with his former boss, Lonnie Cole, pleads for his help in a blackmail plot against Cole. Suddenly Evan is carrying a million dollars of cash into a deadly L.A. jam session that plays to a tune of violence and extortion.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

A music-biz insider uses his connections with slippery agents, sneaky producers and his fellow jazz artists to solve a blackmailing case in this entertaining debut set in L.A. Evan Horne, once a career jazz pianist, is recuperating from a car accident that damaged his right--aka "solo"--hand. His former employer, jazz singer Lonnie Cole, isn't doing too well either. Although Lonnie has just collaborated on a promising crossover album with a country and western star, Lonnie has received an envelope of photos that show him and the C & W man in compromising positions at a wild party. A note enclosed with the prints names Evan as the go-between to carry $1 million to the villainous photographer. Though insisting that he's not involved in the scheme, Evan grudgingly agrees to act as an amateur investigator and warily undertakes his new role, sticking with it even after he's hit on the head and pushed, unconscious, into a marina. Moody creates a tangle of clues and motives that Evan determinedly untangles despite his lack of PI experience. Jazz fans hoping for descriptions of artistry will find workaday musicians instead, but Moody's portrayals of the backstabbing music industry and a royalties scam ring true.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

A popular jazz pianist until his right hand was damaged in an auto accident, Evan Horne now writes the occasional critical essay while undergoing physical therapy and adjusting to the idea that he might never play professionally again. His association with Lonnie Cole, "the King of Soul," ended prior to the accident, but they are brought together again when a blackmailer threatening to ruin the reputations of Cole and Country-Western star Charlie Crisp insists that Horne serve as go-between for the million-dollar payoff. After the money is stolen from him, the pianist's risky quest for the culprit takes him--and the reader--deep into the nonperforming side of the music industry. Narrated by Horne, this first novel is a fast-paced, easy-to-read tale of amateur detection.
- V. Louise Saylor, Eastern Washington Univ. Lib., Cheney
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A Sizzling Intro to a Jazz-themed mystery series Feb. 2 1997
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
After an accident has rendered his left hand--his solo hand--unfit for playing the jazz piano that's been his livelihood, Evan Horne is reluctantly recruited as a bag-man in an elaborate blackmail scheme involving his ex-wife and former employer and a host of colorful characters ranging from an ex-NFL-player-turned-bodyguard to a strangely-erudite country singer. But what at first seems a straightforward money-drop becomes a convoluted and constricting tangle of circumstance with Evan at its center, struggling against an unknown schemer who seems to know all-too-much about this musician-turned-detective. Soon the police are involved and Evan Horne learns just how cut-throat the music business can be. But this is no prissy tickler of the ivories; this is a man who uses the discipline and perserverance that made him a musician make him a detective.
Moody plays out an intricate plot at a masterful pace, creating authentic characters and an atmosphere deeply informed with Moody's experiences as musician, DJ, and historian. Evan Horne is a likeable and resourceful hero who narrates but doesn't preach, who informs as he entertains.
Solo Hand is a must-read for anyone interested in those two American pastimes: Jazz and murder.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Sizzling Intro to a Jazz-themed mystery series!! Feb. 2 1997
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
After an accident has rendered his left hand--his solo hand--unfit for playing the jazz piano that's been his livelihood,
Evan Horne is reluctantly recruited as a bag-man in an elaborate blackmail scheme involving his ex-wife and former
employer and a host of colorful characters ranging from an ex-NFL-player-turned-bodyguard to a strangely-erudite
country singer.
But what at first seems a straightforward money-drop becomes a convoluted and constricting tangle of
circumstance with Evan at its center, struggling against an unknown schemer who seems to know all-too-much about
this musician-turned-detective. Soon the police are involved and Evan Horne learns just how cut-throat the music
business can be. But this is no prissy tickler of the ivories; this is a man who uses the discipline and perserverance that
made him a musician make him a detective.
Moody plays out an intricate plot at a masterful pace, creating authentic characters and an atmosphere deeply informed with Moody's experiences as musician, DJ, and historian. Evan Horne is a likeable and resourceful hero who narrates but doesn't preach, who informs as he entertains.
Solo Hand is a must-read for anyone interested in those two American pastimes: Jazz and murder.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Sizzling Intro to a Jazz-themed mystery series Feb. 2 1997
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
After an accident has rendered his left hand--his solo hand--unfit for playing the jazz piano that's been his livelihood, Evan Horne is reluctantly recruited as a bag-man in an elaborate blackmail scheme involving his ex-wife and former employer and a host of colorful characters ranging from an ex-NFL-player-turned-bodyguard to a strangely-erudite country singer. But what at first seems a straightforward money-drop becomes a convoluted and constricting tangle of circumstance with Evan at its center, struggling against an unknown schemer who seems to know all-too-much about this musician-turned-detective. Soon the police are involved and Evan Horne learns just how cut-throat the music business can be. But this is no prissy tickler of the ivories; this is a man who uses the discipline and perserverance that made him a musician make him a detective.
Moody plays out an intricate plot at a masterful pace, creating authentic characters and an atmosphere deeply informed with Moody's experiences as musician, DJ, and historian. Evan Horne is a likeable and resourceful hero who narrates but doesn't preach, who informs as he entertains.
Solo Hand is a must-read for anyone interested in those two American pastimes: Jazz and murder.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Solo Hand May 13 2007
By Jazz Fan Tudie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Although I am a big fan of Bill Moody and this was the only book of his that I hadn't read, I wouldn't purchase this book until the publisher gets their act together. There are chunks of the book that abruptly stop and then a repeat of earlier pages appears. Pages 61-68 are missing and just filled with pages already printed. It happens again on pages 71 and 72. Even without parts of the story being MIA, it isn't his best book. It seems to stray too far from the musical world some of his earlier books inhabited. I was very disappointed.
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