Cover image for Blue moon : a Philip Damon mystery
Blue moon : a Philip Damon mystery
Duchin, Peter.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Berkley Prime Crime, 2002.
Physical Description:
308 pages ; 22 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Bandleader Philip Damon still hasn't recovered from the death of his wife-victim of a still-unsolved murder-when he arrives at a charity ball at San Francisco's Fairmont Hotel. So, understandably, he's quite shaken to meet Lenore Ashley there, as she uncannily resembles his late wife. But the belle of the ball becomes a suspect when her companion is found dead with an ice pick in his heart. Now, Philip must solve two murders-and discover why he is the one link between them.

Author Notes

Peter Duchin, bandleader of renown, has long enjoyed a good mystery and makes his mystery-writing debut with this book.

John Morgan Wilson is the Edgar Award-winning author of the Benjamin Justice mystery series.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Bandleader Duchin collaborates with Edgar Award winner Wilson (author of the Benjamin Justice series) to create a stylish mystery. In 1963, bandleader Philip Damon returns to San Francisco to play at the Fairmont Hotel's Venetian Room. The trip is bittersweet because Damon had met his wife, who was brutally murdered, in that city, and he is still grieving, especially since the crime was never solved. While playing at the charity ball, Damon sees a woman who looks exactly like his late wife dancing with real-estate tycoon Hamilton Collier III. Suddenly the lights go out. When power is restored, Collier is dead, and Damon is linked to both murders. He must discover what happened to clear his name and solve the crimes. The cast consists of a mixture of real San Franciscans (late Chronicle columnist Herb Caen and assorted politicians) and fictional characters based on well-known locals (Charlene Mitford Hogan Statz, Inspector Hercules Platt). Readers who know San Francisco will enjoy decoding the cast, and those who don't will love the novel's fast pace. Barbara M. Bibel

Publisher's Weekly Review

High society bandleader Duchin and Edgar Award winner Wilson (the Benjamin Justice series) team up for a nostalgia-filled first mystery set in San Francisco in 1963. A bandleader, and son of a famous bandleader, Philip Damon plays swing and jazz standards at grand hotels and special events when he isn't hanging out with such friends as Bobby Short, Jackie Kennedy, Truman Capote and George Plimpton. The name-dropping, which starts on page two and remains a constant feature, will irritate some and amuse others. Still mourning the death of his wife, Diana, the victim of an unsolved murder two years earlier, Damon agrees at Jackie's suggestion to play a charity gig with his orchestra at the Fairmont Hotel, where he first met Diana. Just as Damon spots a Diana look-alike on the crowded dance floor in the arms of real estate tycoon Terence Hamilton Collier III, the lights go out; when they go back on, Collier is dead with an ice pick in his chest. San Francisco's lone black homicide inspector, Hercules Platt, grudgingly comes to accept Damon's help on the case, though Damon is himself a suspect. While the authors supply a reasonably credible plot, the atmosphere of '60s San Francisco they evoke, from Chinatown to Haight-Ashbury, will be the draw for most readers. The characters visit virtually every well-known restaurant at least once. Expect applause and an encore for bandleader sleuth Philip Damon. (Oct. 1) Forecast: The elegant purple dust jacket, with figures in evening dress and piano above the Duchin name, will help attract those attracted to high society. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Two years after the unsolved murder of his pregnant wife, society pianist/band leader Philip Damon returns to the city where he first met her for a stylish fundraiser. San Francisco holds a rude shock: he sees his wife's apparent double at the Fairmont Hotel with a real estate tycoon's heir and the heir winds up murdered. With the help of a few well-placed friends, Damon figures out the connection between his wife's death and this present trouble. There's plenty of namedropping here, not surprising, as society band leader Duchin (Ghost of a Chance: A Memoir) is also the son of pianist/band leader Eddie Duchin; coauthor Wilson is the Edgar Award-winning author of the "Benjamin Justice" series. Their collaboration marks a promising debut in a new series. For larger collections. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.