Saturday, April 16, 2011

Celebrating Mysteries: On the Air Waves

Welcome to this week's edition of Celebrating Mysteries. All during the month of April, I'll be talking about mysteries that have a musical theme to them, whether there's singing, playing, teaching, or-- like this week-- music on the air waves.

Radio stations play a part in most of our lives, and that's the case for the three series I'll bring to your attention today.

The first author that I would like to introduce to you all is Kate Grilley, who also writes as Kate Borden. A resident of the Virgin Islands, Kate has won the Macavity and Anthony awards for her short stories and novels.

The series that has piqued my interest centers on Kelly Ryan, the general manager of radio station WBZE on the Caribbean island of St. Chris. The series has three books:

A brief synopsis of the first book in the series, Death Dances to a Reggae Beat:

Kelly Ryan has just moved to the Caribbean island of St. Chris to run a top-rated radio station. She knew that her new life would be full of adventure--but she never expected murder.... 

The exotic location and Kelly's occupation has made this book one that I definitely want to read!

Ron Ellis

Author Ron Ellis has written a series of mysteries set in Liverpool, England, that features Johnny Ace, a DJ with a controversial phone-in radio show who runs Ace Investigations in his spare time.

To most readers of a certain age, the setting alone will have them humming "Love Me Do", and Johnny Ace proves to be a very interesting fellow indeed since both of his jobs are attention grabbers.

Currently there are seven books in this series:

Framed (1999)

A brief synopsis of the first book in the series, Ears of the City:

When Johnny reads about the death of Matt Scrufford, he wonders if there is a connection to an old friend, Mal Scrufford. After finding him, he realises Matt was indeed Mal's son, but why should someone kill a clean-living student? Then Matt is kidnapped and Johnny becomes an unwilling pawn in a dangerous game.

Bill Fitzhugh

Bill Fitzhugh has published novels and short stories. He's written television and film scripts. And-- he writes, produces and hosts a show on Sirius-XM Satellite radio. (I also remember my husband laughing as he read one of Fitzhugh's books, Pest Control.)

The author has written two books featuring Rick Shannon, an FM rock disc jockey and private investigator in the Mississippi Delta: Radio Activity (2004) and Highway 61 Resurfaced (2005).

The synopsis of the first book in the series, Radio Activity:

Rick Shannon is an unemployed FM rock DJ considering a change in career. But just as he begins selling off his record collection, a job offer comes from a small station in Mississippi, where a DJ recently stopped showing up for work. 

After discovering an audiotape that might explain the fate of the missing DJ, Rick decides to look into the matter. Sensing a new career path, he assumes another identity: Buddy Miles, PI, naming himself after the one-time drummer for Jimi Hendrix.

The result is classic Fitzhugh. A wickedly funny amateur investigation that turns up blackmail, murder, arson, and a major FCC violation. The suspects literally come out of the woods....

This smart, satiric, southern romp of a novel draws heavily from the author's own experience as a Mississippi-born FM radio disc jockey from the 1970s. An offbeat and hilarious whodunit that redefines the meaning of classic rock.

I don't know about any of you, but I'm looking forward to reading Death Dances to a Reggae Beat and Radio Activity! I'm also on the lookout for another book in Ron Ellis's series to read.

Join me next weekend when Celebrating Mysteries will take a look at makers of musical instruments and music teachers. See you then!

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