The Vinyl Detective may be my favourite series of books currently being written. Certainly, it’s the only one I can think of where I actually make a point of reading each new installment not long after they come. I’d genuinely feel bad if I ever fell behind.
Undoubtedly there’s a certain silliness to the whole enterprise, the set-up requires some suspension of disbelief. It’s a series of tales about a collector of old records who – through the simple act of gathering old vinyl (often from charity shops) – finds himself involved in all kinds of crime, skulduggery and international intrigue. It’s essentially Nick Hornby meets James Bond. But as a somewhat geeky middle-aged man (although not one who collects vinyl records or who has any particular liking for jazz) and a fan of spy novels, this is thus very much my kind of book.
This one takes place in more of a minor key than its predecessors. (That doesn’t mean the tension is any less though – indeed, there’s one terrifying near death scene that Fleming would be proud of, if he sent Bond out more to the English countryside.) Our hero is hired to find some old 78 records from the Second World War (so actually pressed on shellac, rather than vinyl), but he still stumbles upon an old murder, neo-Nazis and historic espionage.
Of course, they’re in no way realistic, but if you’re tired of the endlessly gritty crime dramas which populate TV these days, then you can do worse than curling up with a book that’s light and breezy and – even as its protagonist heads off on his latest life and death case – knows not to take itself too seriously.
My debut novel, THE WANNABES – which has been out of print for a little while – is now available for free! A supernatural thriller of beautiful actresses and deadly ambition in London town, it’s well worth your time. You can get your copy here!.