Perseverance Press, Apr 2002, 13.95, 240 pp.
In 1940, violinist Katy Green seeks work as a musician with the big bands, but her gender limits her opportunities regardless of her talent. She finally gets a big break when someone murders the violinist of the all-female Ultra Belles. Lois' former boyfriend and bandleader Ted Wyatt hires her as a replacement.
As the band makes a train tour of hot spots in California and Nevada, someone murders more members of the Ultra Belles. Unable to resist, Katy begins her own investigation into the rising homicide count that appears to be a serial vendetta before the killer adds her to the list.
TOO DEAD TO SWING is an exciting 1940s who-done-it that is as much history as it is mystery. The ambiance of the times, especially that of a traveling all-female big band, enables the audience to see first hand what a musician's life was like on the West Coast just prior to America's entry into World War II. The characters make the plot swing as readers observe the locker room banter while riding the Pullmans with the band. Hal Glatzer provides a wonderful tale that historical novel buffs will relish though mystery fans will find it entertaining too. Though much more expensive, the audio version of this novel is even better as one will feel transported into a different era.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner