Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Country Music Crime Spree

In honor of tonight's broadcast of the 45th annual Country Music Awards, I thought I'd offer up some recent mysteries having to do with Nashville's most famous industry. These are all published within 2011 and can all be read with a twang, if you prefer.

First up, we've got a title that hearkens back to country songs of the past. I can't Make You Love Me, But I Can Make You Leave by Dixie Cash is part of the Domestic Equalizers series.

Here's a description from the publisher: "Darla Denman the former Queen of Country Music has trouble on her hands. First, her upstart back-up singer Roxie Jo Jenkins is found dead in her dressing room (one that clearly doubled as a supply closet). Second, her career ain't what it used to be--she's gone from big arenas to run down bars and from first-class jets to fourth-class busses. And yes, to top is all that 4th class bus has broken down just outside of Salt Lick, Texas. Well, someone has to figure out who murdered Roxie Jo, and now it's up to those Domestic Equalizers--Edwina and Debbie Sue to help her out."

Then there's Murder of a Creped Suzette by Denise Swanson, which is a Scrumble River Mystery. The cover says: "When megamillionaire and imitation cowboy Rex Taylor proposes building a country music theater in Scumble River, everyone's ready to do the boot-scootin' boogie except school psychologist Skye Denison. She's been asked by Suzette Neal, Rex's assistant and a rising country star, to investigate her mother's suspicious death twenty-seven years earlier. No sooner does Skye agree to help than she finds Suzette literally flattened -- and very dead. With a honky-tonk full of suspects and a tangled web of motives that stretches back two decades, Skye has two options: Rise to the occasion or end up as flat as a crepe."

Finally, if you're in the mood for something a little less cozy, try Murder on Music Row: A Music Industry Thriller by Stuart Dill. Here's the description: "Twenty-three-year-old Judd Nix, an unpaid intern at the most prestigious personal management firm in country music, gets the opportunity of a lifetime when his boss and mentor, Simon Stills, offers him a temporary position--an opportunity that may just cost Judd his life."

So you like the country music, but could do without the corpses? Never fear! We've got some books that should suit you just fine.

PhotobucketIf you're looking for a fictionalized account of a classic era in Country Music history, you might try Nashville Chrome. Here’s the flap copy: “Late in 1959, the Brown siblings--Maxine, Bonnie, and Jim Ed--were enjoying unprecedented international success, rivaled only by their longtime friend Elvis Presley. They had a bona fide megahit on their hands, which topped both the country and pop charts and gave rise to the polished sound of the multibillion dollar country music industry we know today. Mesmerized by the Browns' haunting harmonies, the Beatles even tried to learn their secret. Their unique harmony, however, was only achievable through shared blood, and the trio's perfect pitch was honed by a childhood spent listening for the elusive pulse and tone of an impeccably tempered blade at their parent's Arkansas sawmill. But the Browns' celebrity couldn't survive the world changing around them, and the bonds of family began to fray along with the fame."

In They Came To Nashville by Marshall Chapman you get a true-to-life account of Nashville history. From the cover: “Marshall Chapman knows Nashville. A musician, songwriter, and author with nearly a dozen albums and a bestselling memoir under her belt, Chapman has lived and breathed Music City for over forty years. Her friendships with those who helped make Nashville one of the major forces in American music culture is unsurpassed.”

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