STEEL GUITAR by Linda Barnes
Kirkus Star


Email this review


Boston's p.i. Carlotta Carlyle, a six-foot, redheaded ex-cop, still drives a cab when business is slow (Coyote, etc.). Her passenger one night is singer-guitarist Dee Willis, once a close friend in a turbulent period of Carlotta's life and the woman with whom Carlotta's ex-husband Cal had decamped. Dee, after years of career ups and downs, has had a blockbuster record, is in Boston for a sellout concert, and is about to sign with media mega-giant MGA. She's also in trouble. Davey Dunrobie, another figure from the past, is claiming, with a lawyer's letter, that Dee's songs were written by him, and he's demanding big bucks. Dee hires Carlotta to find Davey, but the death of Brenda, her bass player, puts everything else on hold. Is it suicide or murder? Other questions need answers too. What is mobster Mickey Mangenero doing at the fancy MGA bash for Dee? Who trashed Carlotta's house, leaving a ""Back Off"" message on the bathroom mirror? And how does she really feel about Cal, no longer a druggie, who's discovered in her search for Davey while he's playing his bass in a seedy club? All of Carlotta's energies and resources are needed to find the answers, Davey Dunrobie, and a murderer to boot. Another of Barnes's superb mixes of warmth, enthusiasm, clever plotting, vivid characters, and overall brio.

Pub Date: Nov. 5th, 1991
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Delacorte