Rhode Island Red: The Nanette Hayes Mystery Book 1. Charlotte Carter. Open Road Media Mystery & Thriller. January 2015. 179 pp. e-book. ASIN #: B00QN352W4.
One can picture Nanette playing sultry jazz tunes outside of anywhere she can park in Manhattan, New York. Although she’s a French major, she knows she’s not a very good jazz musician but she worships the music of the greats, especially Thelonious Monk and others of his ilk. Her life is difficult as people leave little change in her sax case but is about to become terrifying after she decides to let a fellow sax player named Sig come home with her. He tells her he’ll help her find all the hot spots where she can earn a great living and maybe they can even jam together for the public. Whatever is she doing taking a white man home to her apartment, a stranger at that?
The next morning, Nanette awakens to find Sig dead on the floor of her living room. A rough, tough black cop verbally works over Nanette believing she is the murderer but having no proof. He leaves but promises to return and so he does many times in the course of this mystery. After he leaves the first time, Nanette finds $60,000 socked up in Sig’s sax case. In the pages that follow with Nanette attempting to decide whether to turn over the money to the police, keep the money, give it to acquaintances in need, she begins to unravel the twisted connections of those connected to Sig. Nanette gets a bit battered up in the process of her journey.
These scenes involving Sig’s girlfriend, other musicians, etc. are very moving and work very well in drawing the reader into total immersion in this all too brief story. In fact, even though Nanette is a ball of fear-filled nervousness, her determination to continue to the source of this crime causes many tension-ridden moments right up to the dramatic solution of this horrific crime!
The term “Rhode Island Red” is the heart of this well-crafted thriller, a story that is intriguing and highly recommended reading for readers who love a story in which to lose one’s self.