A private investigator stumbles upon the body of a female singer in this mystery from an author praised by Elmore Leonard for his “clean and simple” prose.
When Scott Mitchell loved Candi Carter, her name was just plain Ann. Back then she was a hippie, playing tambourine in some no-name band. Now she’s the most famous singer in Britain, and she has plans to conquer America next—but first she needs her old friend’s help. And when the famed songbird asks Mitchell to come down to her house in Nottingham, he can’t refuse, even though the sound of her voice makes him feel like his heart is breaking all over again. He pulls himself out of an alcoholic haze, takes the train from London, and stumbles right into a murder scene.
Mitchell finds Carter dead in her living room, a trickle of blood coming from her mouth and a bullet in her chest. Her body is still warm. But before he can get out of there, he’s blackjacked, and when he comes to, he’s picked up by a pair of cops who beat him senseless and drag him to the nearest cell. Mitchell is having a hell of a day—and things will only get worse from here.
First published in 1976, this is the debut novel of John Harvey, who would go on to create the legendary hardboiled Charlie Resnick Mysteries. Harvey’s first crack at transplanting the kind of tough-talking American PI of Raymond Chandler and John D. MacDonald to the United Kingdom works beautifully. Scott Mitchell isn’t just the toughest detective in Britain—he’s also the best.
Amphetamines and Pearls is the 1st book in the Scott Mitchell Mysteries, but you may enjoy reading the series in any order.