June 17, 2024
Looking For Chet Baker
An Evan Horne Mystery by Bill Moody

(Walker and Company – 2002)
by S.H. Watkins, Sr.

Pianist and part-time detective Evan Horne finds himself in Amsterdam gigging with the famous Fletcher Paige. Things are going smoothly… he’s finally gotten away from his ex-girl, the crimes, investigations and everything to just play jazz and enjoy life. Then the meeting with old friend Ace Buffington goes awry, leaving Evan with a missing friend and a portfolio full of materials. Materials on the late trumpeter Chet Baker who allegedly died 13 years earlier falling from a window at the same hotel Evan is staying in. The mystery leads him from jazz joints to nefarious drug lords in search of clues to a 13 year old mystery.

Bill Moody intersperses anecdotes of reality with good crime drama to put together an interesting story that is a good read from start to finish. The musical references from Moody’s real-life musical experiences and introspections by the characters lend to the overall air of authenticity. Moody managed to thread his way through the story without becoming complicated, yet giving enough depth to feel the story. This was my first experience with Moody’s writing, but I’m going to get the previous four Evan Horne novels and give them a read, because this one held my attention very well.

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