Sweet Man Is Gone Review
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As a music aficionado, I have to admit that Iím a sucker for stories centering on musicians or novels that have music as an underlying theme. If Iím lucky to find one, Iíll grab it. So far, itís been hit or miss, but one music-themed novel thatís pure entertainment from start to finish is the mystery thriller Sweet Man Is Gone.

Maxx Maxwell lives in a small apartment in Hackensack, New Jersey, where sheís a waitress by day and the lead singer of the blues band Maxximum Blues by night. Maxx has problems keeping the band together, since blues isnít popular and rock is better at paying the bills. She finally comes up with a tight band with lead guitarist Jimmy Nashville. Like so many women, Maxx has a weakness for guitar players, and Jimmy has more than his share of the ladies.

The band finally lands a gig in Manhattan, but when Maxx comes to pick Jimmy up for the show, she finds police and commotion around his side of the building. Jimmy fellóor jumped--from his ninth-story apartment. The police claim itís suicide, but Maxx wonít buy it. Sheís determined to find his killer, even if the detectives arenít.

Maxx finds numerous suspects. Could it be a jealous girlfriend? Maybe itís the former lead guitarist, who wants back in the band. Then thereís the tall, mysterious stranger whom Jimmy had fought with earlier that day. Playing amateur sleuth, she finds herself not only seeking out the possible killer but also searching into Jimmyís past.

Sweet Man Is Gone has so many twists and turns, but instead of wearing me down, it pulled me right in. But itís more than just a thrilling whodunit. The side stories will also draw you inóespecially Maxxís obsession with the tragic life and death of a relatively unknown country singer, Nancy Lee Parker, which may have had some bearing on Jimmyís death. A slew of unique and eccentric supporting characters also add depth and substance to the story without muddling or weighing down the plot.

The storyís connection to the blues added so much passion for me. However, if youíre not a fan, or even if you care for music in particular, it wonít really matter. As long as you enjoy unique thrillers, youíll find that Sweet Man Is Gone is the perfect read for a chilly winter afternoon.

I just discovered that a sequel, called Got No Friend Anyhow, will be released next yearÖand I canít wait to read it.

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