Blue Moon

Written by John Morgan Wilson Peter Duchin
Review by Lynn Guest

“Mystery” meets “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” in this debut novel modelled on musician Peter Duchin, here thinly disguised as bandleader Phillip Damon. Reading this book is like looking at a painting of San Francisco’s high society circa 1963. There is an abundance of name-dropping, lists of songs, events, and descriptions of landmarks, but one never gets access to what lies behind the glitzy surface. The plot, centering on the stabbing of a prominent rich man on the dance floor of a posh hotel and its link to the death of Damon’s wife, is clever enough but predictable. The introduction of a black police inspector adds an interesting albeit improbable dimension to what remains mainly amateur sleuthing. The best moments are the descriptions of the workings of a band and the inherent pleasure music brings to the soul. Here at last the emotions are real and transferred to the reader. If you’re in the mood for a light, snobbish, glitter-filled story, or are nostalgic for that place and era, this one is for you.