I can't believe I'm the first person to leave a review for this book. It's been ten years since it was published! Blimey! Well, let me say that this is the first one I've read by this author - who, despite the name, is actually a man! This is the first Chief Inspector Woodend novel, and the series has gone on for several books since 2000. Woodend is what you would call a salt-of-the-earth copper, very honest, firm-but-fair. He's from the North, but works primarily in London.
The novels are set in the early 60s, so if you like Heartbeat - or period detective series like Foyle's War - you'll enjoy this book. This one covers the Mersey-beat boom, and if - like me - are a fan of this era and the bands it spawned, you will no doubt find lots to enjoy with this plot, which sees a member of the band get electrocuted via his amplifier in an underground rendezvous-point named The Cellar Club (a very thinly disguised Cavern Club, obviously). Liverpool police call in Scotland Yard's Chief Inspector Woodend and his sidekick Sergeant Bob Rutter (who, incidentally, has a recently blinded wife - so there's a bit of drama there too).
This is a fine murder-mystery with well-developed characters - not just the main `series' protagonists, but also the suspects who will inevitably only appear in this one story. It's a well-paced, quick read; not too long, with the usual red herrings and a satisfying finish. Readers who enjoy the DI Charlie Priest series by Stuart Pawson, the Inspector Angel novels from Roger Silverwood, or Ruth Rendell's Wexford stories will find lots to enjoy here. I certainly did.