The Vinyl Detective, by David Hicks


This is the first of four books so far in The Vinyl Detective series, and as it’s the only one in the series I’ve read, it is my “music pick” for this month’s Muse. “Written in Dead Wax” may be a recommendation that would interest you if you like mystery stories in general, or cats (?), but particularly if you like vinyl records and stories about the birth of Jazz and the music industry, albeit with some literary license applied to the tale.  And there are actual references to recordings that you could listen to while reading this novel. Hence, I think this qualifies as a music pick, sort of.

When I began reading, I wasn’t sure if this would be a story that was entertaining just because it was sprinkled with bits of generic and name brand audiophile name dropping or because the story would develop enough on its own to hold my interest.  Having finished the book, I can say that the story and characters turned out to be more interesting than it would have been if the author had just used an “audiophile” gimmick to try and sell the book.  There is no doubt that some of the characters display audiophile tendencies and vinyl snobbery, but there’s a bit of romance and intrigue in the plot that fleshes out the characters and kept me invested in their quests. Speaking of the author, Andrew Cartmel, this is not his first effort putting plot to paper, he was the script editor of Doctor Who during the Sylvester McCoy era of the show, overseeing the final three seasons of its original run on BBC One, and has worked as a magazine editor, a comics writer, a film studies lecturer, and has several other novels published outside the domain of The Vinyl Detective.

The Vinyl Detective – Written in Dead Wax is a tale of music, mystery, and murder, that I highly recommend. Let me know if you read it and agree or disagree with my endorsement.
Samples of the book may be downloaded on your Kindle or Nook, and paperbacks should be readily available at your nearest bookstore or from Amazon or eBay.


San Francisco Audiophile Society

San Francisco Audiophile Society