Review: ‘The Blues Don’t Care (Bobby Saxon Book 1)’ by Paul D Marks

Genre: Crime

Description: A huge McGuffin inhabits this story, which is why I have used the Amazon ‘blurb’ supplied by the publisher so as not to brush against it accidentally and tip the whole thing over.

the Amazon blurb says “Bobby Saxon lives in a world that isn’t quite ready for him. He’s the only white musician in an otherwise all-black swing band at the famous Club Alabam in Los Angeles during World War II—and that isn’t the only unique thing about him…

And if that isn’t enough to deal with, in order to get a permanent gig with the band, Bobby must first solve a murder that one of the band members is falsely accused of in that racially prejudiced society.”

Bobby Saxon has previously appeared in three of Paul’s published stories – ‘Sleepy Lagoon Nocturne’, from the anthology Landmarked for Murder, ‘The Good Old Days’, in the anthology Murder Across the Map, and ‘Santa Claus Blues’, from Futures Magazine.

Author: Paul D. Marks is a Los Angeles native, and loves the city that LA used to be. His former day job was as a screenplay “script doctor”. He is one of the last people to have shot a film on the famous MGM backlot before it was torn down.

He is the author of over thirty published short stories, which, he says, run the gamut from serious fiction to mystery and satire. They include several award winners. This is his second novel. A complete list of his publications is on his website, www.PaulDMarks.com

Appraisal: So, what’s the best thing about this novel? The author is a native of LA and it shows. He is very knowledgeable about its history, its architecture, its people. The city is a vibrant character in its own right. The time in which the book is set is evocative. The bands, the huge boom in business, the early days of the consumer society, the cars, the segregation, Hollywood and the stars who worked there, the gangsters, the music – it’s all here. Many famous names are dropped: many famous watering holes of the time make an appearance. There is much about the war and what the conscripts may be facing overseas. Period detail is very good indeed.

Unfortunately the plot of the book is a crime and investigation of same (by Saxon) which are too slight to carry its 400 or so pages. Because of this The Blues Don’t Care is rather a baggy book, proceeding at a leisurely pace to a series of similar denouements.

You are most likely to enjoy this book if you prefer character-driven fiction. Saxon is a complex character and he is the heart of the book: everything else is there to give him something to do.

Format/Typo Issues: I was working from an e-ARC, so presume the typos etc which I came across will be corrected before the book is released.

**Review originally prepared for ‘Big Al & Pals’ **

**Received a complimentary e-copy **

Published by Judi Moore

Hi there, I hope you find something to interest you here. In December 2017 I published my fourth book – ‘Wonders will never cease’. It’s a satirical campus novel set in the fictional Ariel University in 1985. If you enjoyed Tom Sharpe’s Porterhouse novels, Willy Russell’s ‘Educating Rita’, David Lodge’s campus novels or Malcolm Bradbury’s ‘The History Man’ back in the day, you may enjoy revisiting the ivory towers of 1980s’ academe thirty years on. See what you think. “It is December, 1985. The year is winding gently towards its close until Fergus Girvan, a Classicist at Ariel University, finds his research has been stolen by the man who is also seeking to steal his daughter. But which man is, actually, the more unscrupulous of the two? And is there hope for either of them?” In the autumn of 2015 I published a volume of short fiction: 'Ice Cold Passion and other stories'. I am also the author of novella 'Little Mouse', a shortish piece of historical fiction which I published in 2014 and, a sequel to it, 'Is death really necessary?', my eco thriller set in the near future and which, confusingly, I published in 2009. All the books are available from all good online bookshops and FeedARead on paper, and as e-books on Kindle. On a semi-regular basis, and about a month after the event, I post here reviews which I do for Big Al & Pals, the premier reviewer of indie books, based in the States. My interests tend to thrillers, SF, magic realism and other quirky stuff. On this blog are also posted the reviews I did for Leighton Buzzard Music Club over some five years up to the end of 2015. LBMC present annual seasons of eight monthly chamber music concerts at the Library Theatre in Leighton Buzzard, Bucks. They select young musicians just beginning to make their name - and the concerts are usually magnificent. I was very proud to be associated with them. I review other music, books, theatre and exhibitions which I've particularly enjoyed.

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