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Jamaica Blue Mass Market Paperback – November 17, 2003


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; 1st edition (November 17, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312985061
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312985066
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,438,576 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Set in Jamaica and Florida and steeped in the lore of rock and roll, pot, Rastafarianism and reggae rap, Bruns's first novel, alas, provides only moderate mystery entertainment. Mick Sever, a renowned rock critic and author of a bestselling book about a rock star's murder, agrees to do a piece on a new reggae group headed by the charismatic Derrick Layman (hailed as "the second coming of Bob Marley"), whose misogynistic lyrics advocate violence against women. Two young women have already been murdered after Derrick and the Laments concerts. When a third victim is stabbed to death, the alleged killer, Roland Jamison, one of Layman's security guards, is found standing over the body with a bloody knife. The police, understandably, arrest Jamison, but Sever, like Inspector Clouseau under similar obvious circumstances in A Shot in the Dark, doubts the man's guilt based on his bewildered expression. Bruns makes much of this and the authorities' unwillingness to accept it as evidence. There are few suspects but their complex relationships generate most of the narrative interest. There are two attempts to drive Sever off the road, a bashing or two and a fistfight, but otherwise little action and no suspense. Sever may not be a terribly compelling sleuth, but his extensive knowledge of the rock world helps redeem the story, as does a clever and logical solution to the crimes.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

When Mick Sever, an influential music critic and best-selling writer, first hears a hot, new Jamaican band called Derrick and the Laments, he's hooked despite the front man's violent political and racial rants. More than that, though, he's intrigued by the fact that three murders of young women have followed Derrick's recent concerts. The last killing occurred on a yacht in Miami during a post-concert party. Mick senses another best seller and begins investigating. Well-paced prose, unnerving, high-speed action, and lively subject matter merit this attention, especially from readers interested in music. A solid debut.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Don Bruns is a novelist, advertising executive, musician, songwriter, cook and painter who has no idea what he wants to do when he grows up. He's the author of nine books and was editor of the mystery/music anthology A Merry Band Of Murderers.

Don's published novels cover two series. One, a Caribbean thriller collection and two, the Stuff series, a humorous look at two twenty-four year old guys in South Florida who start their own detective agency and end up neck - deep in trouble. Skip and James from the Stuff series have often been compared to grown up versions of the Hardy Boys.

Jamaica Blue, Barbados Heat, South Beach Shakedown, St. Barts Breakdown and Bahama Burnout make up the Caribbean books. The Stuff series consists of Stuff To Die For, Stuff Dreams Are Made Of, Stuff To Spy For, and Don't Sweat The Small Stuff- which came out in December 2010. Bruns is currently working on the fifth Stuff book, Too Much Stuff.

His two series have won numerous awards, and the latest "Stuff" series has won a starred review in Booklist.

"Will remind the reader of Tim Dorsey's cast of whacked-out characters but with the narrative voice and feel of Mark Twain's Huck Finn."

Traveling the Caribbean for his Mick Sever series, or hovering around Miami for his "Stuff" series, Bruns enjoys the writing life. You can find him at http://www.donbrunsbooks.com

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ken Dandrea on November 10, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Kind of hokey. Really took a leap of faith to follow the story line. How many murders would it take to stop an actual concert and would a concert really be that important to ignore multiple murders.
Does get some points for the Ginny character. She seemed the most real.
Kind of tough going
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By booksforabuck VINE VOICE on November 12, 2002
Format: Hardcover
When an old friend asks him to check out a new band, rock and roll reviewer Mick Sever drops his book tour and heads for Jamaica. It looks like Sever's friend, promoter Bobby Vane has hit the jackpot. Derrick and the Laments is magical--and Sever writes a complimentary review. Surely the two murders that happened after the band's shows are just coincidence. But when a third woman is killed--and one of the band's roadies accused of the murder, Sever knows he's got to look more closely. He's sure he saw confusion, not guilt in the accused man's eyes.
Author Don Bruns writes convincingly about the music business and the power, money, drugs, and sex that surround it. His descriptions of the charismatic band leader Derrick ring true. JAMAICA BLUE is a well written first novel for Bruns. I would have liked to see more attention to potential red herrings, however. Although Sever identified several potential suspects early on, he never seemed to get around to investigating them--surely a top journalist would have tracked down these loose ends.
JAMAICA BLUE isn't a perfect novel but it marks a promising first mystery. I'll be looking for more novels by Don Bruns.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 21, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Jamaica Blue starts off with sex,drugs and murder, all on the first two pages. Set in the tropical splendor and squalor of Jamaica and South Florida, writer Mick Sever follows a new rasta band. Every concert is followed by the brutal murder of a young female from the audience. Sever stumbles on a murder seemingly in progress, then finds himself a target for murder. Aided by his ex wife and a concert promoter, Sever delves into his rock and roll past looking for answers to the murder. Besides great descriptions of Key West, Miami, and Jamaica, there is enough blood and suspense to go around for everyone.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Michael L. Slavin on July 19, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Free lance rock & roll critic and author Mick Sever is drawn into the world of reggae and Rastafarian culture. A charismatic singer who sings provocative lyrics is on the way to quick stardom. Sever had written a book on sex, drugs, rock and murder previously finds himself headed down a similar path as female concertgoers are murdered. He could well be a private investigator as well as writer. Surprisingly good read.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Larry VINE VOICE on March 2, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Mick Sever, a rock journalist and best selling author, is invited by a promoter to see the latest hot act-- a reggae/rap band led by an angry young man named Derrick Lyman. The band impresses Sever, however, there appears to be a problem. At two previous concerts, young women who attended the concert were later found murdered. The band travels to Miami where they will open the Brandy concert and, hopefully, get a lucrative recording contract.
Unfortunately, at a party on a boat, a young woman is not only found stabbed to death but one of the band's security guards is found holding the knife. When the guard is arrested, Sever feels the wrong man was arrested. He tries to prove that he is correct.
Amateur PI books can be a bit problematic. To be successful, they must be believable. Just as important, the characters have to be engaging enough to allow the reader to accept the necessary suspension of reality and overlook the fact that, say, a rock promoter as a PI is highly unlikely. Don Bruns succeeds in his first effort. Not only is Mick Sever a believable character, but, being a rock promoter allows him to reveal many interesting facets of the recording industry. Of course, Don Bruns, the author, can supply us with much of the information given that he is a songwriter, musician and ad executive. Mr. Bruns has done his homework well in creating this very, very good mystery by working well within the formulaic genre. He breaks no new ground. The novel is paced well and is kept to a reasonable length. Problems include weaknesses in the more minor characterizations. I never truly got a good feel for many of the suspects. However, Don Bruns deserves a lot of credit for hitting a homer his first time at bat.
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