Berkley Oct 2002, 22.95, 320 pp.
He is the bandmaster of the Philip Damon Orchestra, lives in a beautiful apartment in New York City, and is on a first name basis with Jackie Kennedy and Truman Capote among other notables. On the surface, Phillip Damon has it all, but deep in his heart he is still grieving for Diana and their unborn child who were murdered in their apartment while Philip and his orchestra were on the road. The murderer was never caught.
Philip and his company are performing at a charity gig in the Fairmont Hotel when he momentarily spots a woman who looks almost exactly like his dead wife. During the actual performance, he sees the woman Lenore Ashley on the arms of famous real state tycoon Terrence Collier III. During the performance, the lights go out momentarily. When they come back on Collier is dead, an ice pick in his chest. Diana was involved with Collier before she met Philip and he is determined to find out if the murders are linked and if so, how.
Peter Duchin and John Morgan Wilson team up to write one of the better debut amateur sleuth novels of the year. The work itself is very atmospheric and the story line, which takes place in 1963, seems like it occurs in a world so much different than four decades ago. The plot is extremely well crafted, with so many coincidences and linking relationship that readers will keep turning the pages to find out all the secrets and agendas of the myriad of suspects.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner