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Dark Side of the Morgue: 06/21/09

Raymond Benson is probably best known for his time as the official author of new James Bond books from 1997 to 2003. He has since started his own series of mysteries staring Spike Berenger, a detective with rock and roll roots.

>Dark Side of the Morgue is set in Chicago and is the second book in the series. Berenger goes to Chicago to investigate a series of murders of the founding members of the Chicagoprog progressive rock music. The sound of this fictional piece of rock and roll history is compared to Pink Floyd, thus the play on "Dark Side of the Moon."

The book starts off strong with lots of work in blending of the Chicagoprog's fictional timeline with the real Chicago music scene past and present. It reads like a novelization of This is Spinal Tap or A Mighty Wind if the band members were being stalked and murdered.

Early on it's clear that someone from the bands' past has come back with a grudge. While there are two completely plausible options for the identity of the murderer, the book unfortunately goes for a more "sensational" option. To add to my disappointment, it's not even all that original of a twist. I'm thinking mostly of the "Mask of Death" episode from The Streets of San Francisco. I'm not going to link to the episode description to spoil anything.

My verdict then on Dark Side of the Morgue is great mystery with a weak resolution. The book though was good enough that I want to read the first in the series, A Hard Day's Death (2008).

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