A “genuinely affecting” mystery set in small-town Iowa in the 1950s (The Wall Street Journal).
Sam McCain loves Buddy Holly because he’s the only rock-and-roll star who still seems like a dweeb, and Sam knows how that feels. With the unrequited love of his life at his side, Sam drives more than three hours through the snow to watch his idol play the Surf Ballroom. That night, Buddy Holly dies in the most famous plane crash in music history, but Sam has no time to grieve. Because there are too many lawyers in this small town, Sam makes a living as a PI, doing odd jobs for an eccentric judge—whose nephew, it seems, has a problem only a detective could solve. His trophy wife has been murdered, and as soon as Sam arrives, the nephew kills himself, too.
The police see this as a clear-cut murder-suicide, but Sam wants to know more, diving into a mystery by Ellery Queen Award–winning author Ed Gorman that will get dangerous faster than you can say “bye-bye, Miss American Pie.”