A jazz pianist turns sleuth once more after an amazing discovery at his dead mentor’s crib.
Keyboard stylist Evan Horne is riding high after an extended tour of some of Europe’s top jazz venues. Returning home to San Francisco, he rekindles his romance with Andie Lawrence, a rising star in the FBI, and dives back into the Frisco music scene, even lining up some exciting work in New York. An unexpected call from L.A. attorney Roger Scott sends him on a different path. Evan’s aged mentor Calvin Hughes, who worked frequently with Miles Davis, has died, and it falls to Evan to clean out his overstuffed little house. Taped to the bottom of a drawer, he finds an old photograph and a note from Cal. The note identifies the photo, which pictures a handful of people, as a clue and challenges Evan to solve a mystery that becomes more urgent when Evan learns that he’s listed as Cal’s next of kin. Evan’s probe ranges far in time and place, taking him to Boston and New York as well as all over L.A. Andie survives a dangerous attack, and a young woman named Dana Trent, Cal’s companion in his final days, provides romantic temptation and duplicity.
Evan’s sixth case (Looking for Chet Baker, 2002, etc.) offers an infectiously mellow first-person narrative, a nostalgic undertone and a nicely drawn combo of sidemen (and women).