What Teams Did Not Qualify For World Cup 2022 Swing by Rupert Holmes

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Swing by Rupert Holmes

Remember the Lindy Hop? What about Sally Rand’s Nude Ranch? Even if you don’t you’ll still enjoy this noir mystery, a story that will transport you back to the big band era

SWING was written by noted songwriter and playwright Rupert Holmes. He also wrote the book, lyrics and score for the Broadway musical “The Mystery of Edwin Drood” which won several Tony Awards. And remember the Piña Colada Song, he wrote that too. My copy of SWING was missing the CD of original music composed by Holmes, but it did not affect my enjoyment of the story.

The time period is 1940, the age of the big bands, and the hero is Ray Sherwood, a talented but down on his luck arranger and saxophone player. Ray is still grieving the death of his young daughter when he goes on the road with the Jake Donovan Orchestra. They are playing a gig at the Claremont Hotel at the Golden Gate International Exposition, the West Coast equivalent of the New York World’s Fair. He meets Gail Prentice, a young student from Berkeley who wants him to arrange her musical composition, “Swing.”

Ray is attracted to Gail, but he doesn’t have much time to chase the trees. Scary events begin to unfold almost immediately. A woman plunges to her death from the Sun Tower on the island and lands at Ray’s feet. Suddenly he is embroiled in murder and conspiracy and nothing is as it seems.

It’s a complex plot with a lot going on, dead bodies, espionage, betrayal and politics. Holmes’ musical knowledge shows throughout and adds a lot of depth to the story. The music CD provided is said to contain clues to the mystery. As I said my copy didn’t come with the CD and I’m afraid it wouldn’t have helped me anyway, the plot took a few twists and turns that I didn’t see coming.

Although the mystery was a bit mysterious and there were a few too many coincidences for me, I enjoyed the characters, the witty dialogue and the historical elements. It takes place just before the Second World War, and there are spies and lots of good period detail. Music lovers will be fascinated by the details of the craft and the life of a musician on the road.

The story is fun and engaging and I highly recommend it.

Publisher: Random House (March 15, 2005)

Pages: 384

ISBN: 978-1400061587

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