Cover image for Concerto in dead flat : a Chris Klick novel
Concerto in dead flat : a Chris Klick novel
McCall, Wendell.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Scottsdale, Ariz. : Poisoned Pen Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
277 pages ; 23 cm
Format :


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FICTION Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Chris Klick, whose gig is to restore uncollected royalties to musicians for a percentage, comes to Paris on the trail of a famous conductor. The payoff due is large, but the man is elusive - he's begun an affair with a student cellist, and cleaned out his marital bank account. His wife is displeased, and feeling vengeful. So the maestro hides, and apparently at Oxford.
To flush him out, Klick goes undercover at venerable Wadham College as the visiting Raymond Chandler/Fulbright Fellow, there to research and write a mystery. His entre' lies in a missing don whose absence alarms at least some of his colleagues. But the Warden seems oddly blase'. And what about the case of college port that's missing? Even more puzzling are rumors of a lost Mozart manuscript restored....
While keeping up with own true love Nicole eludes him, Klick and his former-basketball-star buddy Lyel have successfully teamed before in Dead Aim and Aim for the Heart to score up the missing. The hoops may be different, but if they can win in Idaho, why not in England?

Author Notes

Wendell McCall lives in rural Idaho where he enjoys snowboarding or fly fishing, depending upon the season.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

The cat has escaped the bag on the Web and elsewhere: Wendell McCall is none other than thriller writer Ridley Pearson. But if only this semi-hardboiled, semi-academic mysteryÄthe first McCall title in almost 10 yearsÄwas as good as the average Pearson blockbuster. As in the previous McCalls, Chris Klick is a partner in a business that finds missing royalties for musicians; sometimes Chris must hunt for the musicians in order to give them the money. This time, it is surprisingly difficult for him to give away the money, for it belongs to a famous conductor, Stephan Shultz, who has emptied his wife's bank accounts and taken off with a teenage girl to Europe. Chris tracks Shultz from Paris to London to Oxford to try to persuade him that an offer of royalty money is not simply a cover to confiscate his wife's missing cash. A friend arranges for Chris to masquerade as the Raymond Chandler Fulbright Fellow in residence at Wadham College, Oxford (a fellowship once held by Pearson). Chris falls in love with Oxford, and much of the novel is spent in lyricizing about its joys. But this is territory that has been better covered by such writers as Dorothy L. Sayers and Edmund Crispin. Chris's perspective as a visiting American is an interesting one, but McCall shows little adeptness for British colloquialisms in his dialogue, and there's no real sense of verisimilitude. Pearson's acclaimed talent for sustaining suspense isn't apparent, either. Although it's clear that the author loved his stay in Oxford, and was bemused by the eccentricity of the dons and other university denizens, his affection for matters Oxbridgian doesn't compensate for a weak plot. (June) FYI: Later this year, Poisoned Pen will reprint in trade paperback the two earlier Wendell McCall mysteries, Dead Aim in July and Aim for the Heart in October. Meanwhile, a new Ridley Pearson novel, The First Victim (Forecasts, May 17), is due out from Hyperion in July. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved