Jazz Fiction

jazz2Half-Blood Blues: a novel / Esi Edugyan

In the aftermath of the fall of Paris, 1940, Hieronymus Falk, a rising star on the cabaret scene, was arrested in a cafe and never heard from again. He was twenty years old, a German citizen, and black. Fifty years later, Sid, Hiero’s bandmate and the only witness that day, is going back to Berlin.

Bertie Plays the Blues: a 44 Scotland Street Novel / Alexander McCall Smith

Once more, we catch up with the delightful goings-on in the fictitious 44 Scotland Street from Alexander McCall Smith. With customary charm and deftness, Alexander McCall Smith gives us another instalment in this popular series, currently running in The Scotsman. Anything could happen to Bertie and the gang, especially with an invitation to one of Scotland’s premier jazz festivals.

Of Song and Water: a novel / Joseph Coulson

Moving from the Great Lakes to the jazz bars of Detroit and Chicago, Of Song and Water is a tale of singlehanded sailors and jazz musicians, of working-class dreams blighted by family duty, personal betrayals, and the untold violence between fathers and sons. The novel follows the life of Coleman Moore, a jazz guitarist of early fame who finds himself adrift and in the company of ghosts: his mentor, a black jazz legend trying to live peacefully on the edge of a white town; his grandfather, a Prohibition rumrunner turned ruthless entrepreneur; and his first love, a clear-headed woman who refuses to live in the dark tunnels of the past.

Shout Down the Moon: a novel / Lisa Tucker

After her tumultuous childhood and a destructive teenage romance, Patty Taylor is struggling to build a new life for herself and her two-year-old son, but finds her new world undermined by the reappearance of her son’s father.

The Wicked City / Beatriz Williams

Moving into the building that once hid a speakeasy, Ella Hawthorne uncovers the Jazz Age story of a scandalous love triangle involving redheaded flapper Gin Kelly, a rugged Prohibition agent, and a wealthy debonair Princetonian.

Written in Dead Wax / Andrew Cartmel

He is a record collector — a connoisseur of vinyl, hunting out rare and elusive LPs. His business card describes him as the Vinyl Detective and some people take this more literally than others. Like the beautiful, mysterious woman who wants to pay him a large sum of money to find a priceless lost recording — on behalf of an extremely wealthy (and rather sinister) shadowy client. Given that he’s just about to run out of cat biscuits, this gets our heroes full attention. So begins a painful and dangerous odyssey in search of the rarest jazz record of them all.

The Haters / Jesse Andrews

A road trip adventure about a trio of jazz-camp escapees who, against every realistic expectation, become a band.

The Jazz Palace: a novel / Mary Morris

The son of a grieving Jewish family in jazz age Chicago impresses patrons of a mob-controlled saloon with his piano talents, which become subject to a changing music era, his need to survive, and exacting mob demands.

Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death: the Grantchester Mysteries / James Runcie

It is 1953, the coronation year of Queen Elizabeth II. Sidney Chambers, vicar of Grantchester and honorary canon of Ely Cathedral, is a thirty-two-year-old bachelor. Tall, with dark brown hair, eyes the color of hazelnuts, and a reassuringly gentle manner, Sidney is an unconventional clerical detective. He can go where the police cannot. Together with his roguish friend, inspector Geordie Keating, Sidney inquires into the suspect suicide of a Cambridge solicitor, a scandalous jewelry theft at a New Year’s Eve dinner party, the unexplained death of a jazz promoter’s daughter, and a shocking art forgery that puts a close friend in danger. Sidney discovers that being a detective, like being a clergyman, means that you are never off duty, but he nonetheless manages to find time for a keen interest in cricket, warm beer, and hot jazz – as well as a curious fondness for a German widow three years his junior.

Saint Monkey: a novel / Jacinda Townsend

Two friends from the mountains of eastern Kentucky try to retain their friendship when one of them is invited to play the Apollo with a jazz group while the other sinks lower in her poor, backward, backwoods life.

Rainey Royal / Dylan Landis

Living in a decaying 1970s brownstone with her cultish jazz musician father, 14-year-old Rainey endures unwanted advances from her father’s friend while pursuing her own creative ambitions and struggling to build a substitute family.

2 a.m. at The Cat’s Pajamas: a novel / Marie-Helene Bertino

Traces the unlikely bond between a precocious nine-year-old jazz singer, a divorced teacher hoping to reunite with her high-school sweetheart, and a club owner facing the imminent loss of his Philadelphia business.

Last night at the Blue Angel / Rebecca Rotert

In early 1960s Chicago, Naomi Hill, a fiercely ambitious, yet extremely self-destructive jazz singer at the Blue Angel club, embarks on a desperate journey to stardom, while her 10-year-old daughter Sophie becomes even more anxious as she struggles for her mother’s love.

Tiger Rag: a novel / Nicholas Christopher

Faced with her disintegrating family life, Dr. Ruby Cardillo enlists her daughter to accompany her on a trip up the East Coast to discover her family’s ties to a long-rumored Edison cylinder recording of jazz musician Buddy Bolden.

Cinnamon Roll Murder / Joanne Fluke.

When the keyboard player for the Cinnamon Roll Six jazz band is murdered after a tour bus accident on the way to Lake Eden, Minnesota, Hannah Swensen investigates and comes up with several local suspects.jazz1

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