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Looking for Chet Baker: An Evan Horne Mystery (Evan Horne Series Book 5) [Kindle Edition]

Bill Moody
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Still recovering from violent past cases, pianist Evan Horne takes some gigs in Amsterdam, where the old jazz clubs are alive and well. There he finds himself reliving the last days of legendary blues trumpeter Chet Baker, who died under mysterious circumstances.


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"I'm a pushover for minor keys, minor chords, minor blues. Always have been," says jazz pianist and amateur detective Evan Horne. "I was drawn to those players and composers for whom minor keys and blues-drenched creations were a way of life." A blues-drenched creation aptly sums up Moody's sad and mellow Evan Horne mystery, his fifth (after 1999's Bird Lives!), in which his suffering hero, still recovering from the aftereffects of the violence of earlier cases, decides to get away and takes some gigs in Europe. In London, Horne meets an old friend, Ace Buffington. An English professor who needs to publish one more book to achieve tenure, Ace wants Horne to help him research real-life jazz great Chet Baker. In 1988, Baker fell (or was pushed) from his hotel window in Amsterdam, i.e., he died "under mysterious circumstances." Horne has no interest in more detective work, but when he gets to Amsterdam, he discovers that Ace has disappeared. Since the police express little interest in finding the missing professor, Horne is obliged to go looking for his buddy himself. Ace's trail parallels that of Chet Baker's last days, so Horne has to learn a lot more about Baker, his legendary talent, his tragic addiction to drugs. Moody does a wonderful job of re-creating the man and his times. For anyone interested in jazz, this is a must. For anyone just interested in a good mystery, this is just what the coroner ordered. Agent, Philip G. Spitzer. (Mar. 13)Forecast: As a jazz drummer and respected critic in the music world (Howard Mandel, president of the Jazz Journalists Association, and Dick Conte, of San Francisco's KCSM/KKSF, supply blurbs), the author is well positioned to push this latest jazz mystery to the obvious crossover audience.

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Series narrator/sleuth Evan Horne has success playing jazz piano in Europe after recovering from an injury to his hand. He winds up in Amsterdam, stays at the same hotel where some 11 years earlier jazz musician (and junkie) Chet Baker mysteriously fell to his death from an upper window, and becomes concerned about the disappearance of a friend researching Chet's life. Horne's own search involves a local jazz archive, a marijuana "restaurant," other American expatriate musicians, and frequent narrative diversions into the convolutions of jazz. Intricately described, carefully paced, and gently suspenseful, this is fitting for most collections.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2847 KB
  • Print Length: 250 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press (June 17, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0056KO92Y
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,829 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Solving A Jazz Fan's Mystery March 25, 2002
Format:Hardcover
One of the frustrating limitations of writing a mystery novel based on a real and continuing mystery, must be the small amount of wiggle room available in which to be creative and still be faithful to the facts that are known. Thus in this case the real story is the time, place and setting of the jazz world in which Chet Baker lived his last weeks and died under mysterious circumstances.
Having read the four previous jazz mysteries by Bill Moody, and enjoyed each of them, I found this one to be the best. The story, mostly set in Amsterdam, is atmospheric, and keeps the reader's interest all the way through both with jazz related information and the longing to know whatever might be learned from the author's research into the strange and sudden death of Chet Baker. This is a lean book that sticks to the point without either going off on tangents, losing its way in sub-plots or developing any bazaar theories. This story of what might have happened to Chet Baker is both realistic and satisfying.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Evan Horne Series by Bill Moody April 15, 2002
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is the fifth in a series featuring the reluctant detective Evan Horne who is a jazz pianist. He always finds himself involved in the solution of a mystery that concerns a real life musician. Because Bill Moody is a jazz drummer and journalist, he brings a certain authenticity to his stories and if you don't watch out, he may cause you to buy some new CDs. His other books were about Charlie Parker, Wardell Gray, Clifford Brown, and this one is set in Amsterdam where Chet Baker died in 1988 when he either fell or was pushed from a hotel window. Poor Evan, he just had a gig and then he finds himself once again mixed up with the police! I have enjoyed each one of the Evan Horne books, waited for this one for about a year, recommend the series to all musicians and mystery lovers...
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moody plays the right mystery notes March 9, 2002
Format:Hardcover
After the serial killer fiasco in Ls Angeles (BIRD LIVES) and counseling in New York, jazz pianist Evan Horne flees to London to star in a week long gig. His friend Professor Ace Buffington is also in the city following a sabbatical from UNLV. Ace pleads with Evan to join him in Amsterdam to research a biography on music legend Chet Baker, who died either by suicide or homicide in the city. Evan refuses remembering the trouble that occurs whenever he works with Ace such as he did on the Clifford Brown recording.

Evan travels to Amsterdam for another gig after his successful performances at Ronnie Scott's place. He stays at the same hotel that Chet took that nose-dive in 1988. Ace has already checked out of that hotel so Evan feels relieved that he will not get involved in another case. However, Evan cannot resist peaking inside the room Baker dived through the window. When Evan sees Ace's satchel containing his notes, he becomes concerned for his friend. He begins making inquiries that force him to follow the last days' trail of Chet Baker.

Readers looking for an entertaining, but a bit different kind of an amateur sleuth tale will enjoy LOOKING FOR CHET BAKER and the other novels in the Horne series. The story line provides insight into jazz (past and present) while spinning an engaging mystery involving a real persona. Evan plays the right notes so that the audience feels as if they attend a masterful concerto written by talented Bill Moody, whose love for jazz shines through each Horne selection.

Harriet Klausner
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28 of 38 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Hmmmmmm April 22, 2002
By jot
Format:Hardcover
After 5 novels hasn't Mr. Moody learned that you just, can't, put, a comma, wherever you want to? And at times, well, a comma is needed. This could be credited to extreme sloppiness and mistakes that editors should notice right away. Like the fact that California is 9, not 8 hours behind Amsterdam. Consecutive chapter headings of Wednesday the 10th and Thursday the 12th (with a mention of Friday the 13th) make me wonder what happened to the 11th day of that month. Mr Baker is referred to as "Mrs" Baker. (What the hell do editors do these days?) And there are probably others that my quick reading or fading memory have missed.
If you have a craving for some Chet Baker (who doesn't/shouldn't?) I would suggest de Valk's bio, or pre-order Gavin's. If you have mystery fix, just buy Elmore Leonard. I am not familiar with the other works of Mr Moody, I like the idea of jazz mysteries but heavily shy away from silly clichés and most of all bad writing. If anything I hope this will turn a few people on to the lovely music of Chet Baker.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Jazz Detective in Amsterdam... March 27, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As a Jazz enthusiast, I can appreciate books revolving around Jazz musicians. And since Evan Horne is in my hometown Amsterdam when he's looking for Chet Baker, that makes it all the more interesting.

I enjoyed Evan's first person narration, and I know Mr. Moody is a musician himself by the way he can write interestingly about performances and the life of musicians.

Evan is visited by his friend Ace in London, just before Evan is to depart for Amsterdam. Ace is a writer and needs Evan to help him research a book on Chet Baker, who died in Amsterdam after falling out of a second story hotel window. Evan, who has been burned by his curiosity and his impromptu investigations before, refuses to assist Ace and leaves him to play the reminder of his gigs in London.

Ace departs for Amsterdam, but by the time Evan arrives, Ace has moved out of his hotel and disappeared. When Evan finds Ace's portfolio on Chet Baker, something he wouldn't just 'leave behind', Evan realizes something is rotten in Amsterdam and goes looking for Ace.

Although as a suspense author myself I figured out the plot pretty soon, it was a joy to follow Evan through Amsterdam. I liked his easy camaraderie with veteran saxophone player Fletcher Paige and Mr. Moody catches the atmosphere and laid-back attitude of Amsterdam pretty good.

For the musical side of the story, Mr. Moody really knows what he's talking about. The Amsterdam part of the story has some problems though. I know the area Mr.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars recommended read
Very enjoyable read. Kind of a historical wo-done-it. When i started i was woried how thw author was going to pull it off. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read
Excellent read. Already love a mystery add to that some musical overtones and I'm hooked I will have to read more Evan Horne mysteries.
Published 4 months ago by zartiste
4.0 out of 5 stars Hooked on Chet
The name was the first attraction. I shipped out to Korea from Camp Stomeman Ca. And had a chance to
see Chet in San Francisco one night before we left. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Gene
5.0 out of 5 stars Looking for Chet Baker
Evan Horne lives for jazz. He plays piano and reveals his soul through music. He can't resist solving mysteries. When an old friend goes missing he leaves no stone unturned. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Crystal
4.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed it. Nice easy read
My brother is a jazz musician and a friend of Bill Moody's and was mentioned in the book. I enjoyed it. Nice easy read. Look forward to reading the other books in the series.
Published 6 months ago by Happy Harper
3.0 out of 5 stars The BIM-huis in a novel!
It is good fun to read a story from a jazz musician's point of view. The plot is not very surprising or interesting, but the description of Amsterdam (for most of the story) and of... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Cornelis Broekhof
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
a very good read, light but good.
Published 7 months ago by Nancy Scott
4.0 out of 5 stars Chet Baker was my favorite trumpet player in the Fifties
This is a book that I had to read. Chet Baker was my favorite trumpet player in the Fifties. I enjoyed his playing on numerous occasions, first with Gerry Mulligan’s piano-less... Read more
Published 7 months ago by A Listener
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating and Fun Read
Absolutely love the combination of fiction and fact. I have been an admirerer of Chet's playing for years so found this fascinating. Read more
Published 7 months ago by O-L-S
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good read...page turner
Published 8 months ago by Cheryl T
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