12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Mystery with a Touch of Jazz
, 8 Jan. 2004
This review is from: Beiderbecke Affair (Paperback)
Alan Plater's books are always just on the verge of being a little too cute. The dialogue is occasionally too clever by half, but more often than not, it actually works. So I can understand if the Beiderbecke books are not to everyone's liking. On the other hand, I have read the Beiderbecke Affair at least five times since I bought a paperback copy in London in 1994.
It is my favorite of the three Beiderbecke books (Beiderbecke Tapes and Beiderbecke Connection are the second and third of the series). We are introduced to Trevor and Jill, Big Al and Little Norm, the gang at school, and the mostly incompetent bunch at the police station. Why has a beautiful platinum blonde offered to sell jazz records to Trevor? What do Big Al and Little Norm have to hide? How are Jill's English students getting extra copies of Tess of the D'Urbervilles? And how does Bix Beiderbecke fit in?
As you may guess, the mystery is secondary in these stories. The appeal is the interplay among the characters and the running gags. In the video version of these stories, the music is also a draw, with an excellent band playing the songs of Leon "Bix" Beiderbecke, jazz musician of circa 1930, who died tragically young, and whose cornet playing inspires Trevor and occasionally other characters, but alas, never Jill.
Best to start with the first in the series, as it is the best. Or see it on video and enjoy the music!
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