Musical references of the pop persuasion dot this tasty first mystery by a noted British rock promoter like raisins in a good rice pudding. Starting with the title (a Nick Lowe song), sounds and quotes (by Don Williams, Paul Simon, ABBA, and Laurie Anderson) follow North London police inspector Christy Kennedy through his investigation of murder and arson in the recording industry. Paul Charles lives in and obviously loves the Camden Town neighborhood he writes about with shrewd affection ("There's nothing like staring down the barrel of a revolver to give a person a clear head. Usually such sharpness of vision occurs on early walks on Primrose Hill..."). The neighborhood itself becomes an important character in his lively, detail-rich story about Kennedy's search for a missing record tycoon. Even if you've never been to London or listened to Nick Lowe, you should enjoy I Love the Sound of Breaking Glass
From Publishers Weekly
In British author Charles's first Insp. Christy Kennedy mystery (published in the U.K. in 1997), the humane and vulnerable CID detective's love interest, reporter ann rea, asks him to look into the disappearance of a record producer, who eventually turns up dead. Kennedy and his subordinates set about conducting routine interviews and following up obvious leads grounded in the dead man's checkered career. Charles convincingly melds the growing romantic relationship between Kennedy and rea, complete with insecurities and the baggage of previous partners, with a classic whodunit plot. A music manager and promoter, the author does a fine job of depicting the cutthroat deals and corrupt schemes rampant in the modern music industry. Americans familiar with payola scandals will find the more sophisticated methods of manipulating record sales fascinating. Fans of Lovesey's Peter Diamond series in particular, and traditional mystery fans in general, will welcome Charles's successful integration of an impossible crime element into a contemporary police procedural with a logical and clever twist ending.
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