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While My Guitar Gently Weeps

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Blacklight’s recent tour has been rough on guitarist JP Kinkaid: a heart attack in Boston and a significant ramp-up of his multiple sclerosis have left him more physically fragile than usual. With the tour over, JP is relaxing by sitting in as second guitarist for a new CD by his longtime local friends, the Bombardiers. The Bombardiers are breaking in a new frontman, singe Blacklight’s recent tour has been rough on guitarist JP Kinkaid: a heart attack in Boston and a significant ramp-up of his multiple sclerosis have left him more physically fragile than usual. With the tour over, JP is relaxing by sitting in as second guitarist for a new CD by his longtime local friends, the Bombardiers. The Bombardiers are breaking in a new frontman, singer/guitarist Vinny Fabiano. Self-absorbed and abrasive, Vinny is new to the Bay Area music scene. All anyone seems to really know about him is that he has some very expensive instruments, but no obvious source of income to pay for them. A few weeks into the sessions, Vinny is found dead in the Bombardiers’ rehearsal space, smashed over the head with a custom guitar. The murder leaves the Bombardiers--who are already in hot water with their record label--without a singer or a regular guitar player. JP, calling in a favor, asks Blacklight’s legendary frontman, Malcolm “Mac” Sharpe, to step in and sub for Vinny. But then Vinny’s cousin and guitar tech is found murdered in Marin County, and Vinny’s most valuable guitar---a $75,000 custom Zemaitis pearl-top--is missing. In the second book of this exciting, atmospheric series, Deborah Grabien shares her insider knowledge of the world of rock ’n’ roll, spinning a terrific mystery in the process.    


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Blacklight’s recent tour has been rough on guitarist JP Kinkaid: a heart attack in Boston and a significant ramp-up of his multiple sclerosis have left him more physically fragile than usual. With the tour over, JP is relaxing by sitting in as second guitarist for a new CD by his longtime local friends, the Bombardiers. The Bombardiers are breaking in a new frontman, singe Blacklight’s recent tour has been rough on guitarist JP Kinkaid: a heart attack in Boston and a significant ramp-up of his multiple sclerosis have left him more physically fragile than usual. With the tour over, JP is relaxing by sitting in as second guitarist for a new CD by his longtime local friends, the Bombardiers. The Bombardiers are breaking in a new frontman, singer/guitarist Vinny Fabiano. Self-absorbed and abrasive, Vinny is new to the Bay Area music scene. All anyone seems to really know about him is that he has some very expensive instruments, but no obvious source of income to pay for them. A few weeks into the sessions, Vinny is found dead in the Bombardiers’ rehearsal space, smashed over the head with a custom guitar. The murder leaves the Bombardiers--who are already in hot water with their record label--without a singer or a regular guitar player. JP, calling in a favor, asks Blacklight’s legendary frontman, Malcolm “Mac” Sharpe, to step in and sub for Vinny. But then Vinny’s cousin and guitar tech is found murdered in Marin County, and Vinny’s most valuable guitar---a $75,000 custom Zemaitis pearl-top--is missing. In the second book of this exciting, atmospheric series, Deborah Grabien shares her insider knowledge of the world of rock ’n’ roll, spinning a terrific mystery in the process.    

30 review for While My Guitar Gently Weeps

  1. 5 out of 5

    Nikki

    As an old folk-music aficionado, I was disappointed when Deborah Grabien's Haunted Ballad series ended in favor of a series based on rock'n'roll. I needn't have been, since I like this series just as much. There are no ghosts in the JP Kinkaid series, but the characterization of Kinkaid, an aging but still active rock star, and Bree Godwin, the professional caterer who is his "old lady," recapitulates the protagonists of the Haunted Ballad books -- two people who love their work and each other. As an old folk-music aficionado, I was disappointed when Deborah Grabien's Haunted Ballad series ended in favor of a series based on rock'n'roll. I needn't have been, since I like this series just as much. There are no ghosts in the JP Kinkaid series, but the characterization of Kinkaid, an aging but still active rock star, and Bree Godwin, the professional caterer who is his "old lady," recapitulates the protagonists of the Haunted Ballad books -- two people who love their work and each other. Ringan and Penny in the Haunted Ballad series seemed to have a charmed life in spite of their run-ins with ghosts, while JP and Bree have a complicated history as well as present-day troubles to deal with, particularly JP's multiple sclerosis. Grabien writes with knowledge and sensitivity about the effects of MS (she herself was diagnosed in 2002). At least one other reviewer has complained about the plot in While My Guitar Gently Weeps. I'd have to agree that if you're looking for a classic puzzle that "plays fair" with the reader, dropping clues every few pages, you won't get one here. The solution is not a deus ex machina, but rather a sort of subtle poetic justice. The mystery itself is almost an excuse to let us into the world that Grabien has created -- a world that's a pleasure to visit even in the midst of a murder investigation. I hope this series can continue for a long time.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    I have read most of Deborah Grabien's books in this series and I really like them. To some extent it is because J.P. is an old rocker and that is my generation. However, I have enjoyed watching his life progress with characters that Grabien has drawn over the series. She manages to weave together well J.P.'s life, his love, and "mates" with the murders they encounter along the way. While J.P. sounds like someone I would like to meet, frankly the description of "Mac", the lead singer of the prima I have read most of Deborah Grabien's books in this series and I really like them. To some extent it is because J.P. is an old rocker and that is my generation. However, I have enjoyed watching his life progress with characters that Grabien has drawn over the series. She manages to weave together well J.P.'s life, his love, and "mates" with the murders they encounter along the way. While J.P. sounds like someone I would like to meet, frankly the description of "Mac", the lead singer of the primary group Blacklight, sounds like I would like to meet him MUCH MORE. A lot of these stories revolve around J.P.'s (and others') guitars and their makeup and components. There, I am lost. But it still interests me to know the various makes of guitars and how they are used for various types of music. Since guitars are such a focal point, the series may not interest everyone. I think my interest centers on the excellent drawing of characters and emotions, as well as the evolution made by bands that started way back, experienced many hurdles with drugs and alcohol and managed to come out this end recovered. Not undamaged by any means, but at least alive. So many did not. But then from my perspective (and in a former title of Grabien's) Rock n' Roll Never Dies.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Julie H.

    So once again I've jumped in with Book 2 of a thus-far two-book series. It was really, really enjoyable with interesting characters and wonderful flavor text drawn from the music industry--esp. as relates to studio musicians and cutting a CD. J.P. Kinkaid is one of those marvelous fallible characters who doesn't cut himself a single ounce of slack, and you know that that's precisely why Bree is able to have stood by him over the many years of their relationship. There was a deceptive amount of s So once again I've jumped in with Book 2 of a thus-far two-book series. It was really, really enjoyable with interesting characters and wonderful flavor text drawn from the music industry--esp. as relates to studio musicians and cutting a CD. J.P. Kinkaid is one of those marvelous fallible characters who doesn't cut himself a single ounce of slack, and you know that that's precisely why Bree is able to have stood by him over the many years of their relationship. There was a deceptive amount of stuff going on in the story--that is the mystery itself (which was good and complex), really layered characterization (even of pets), and then all the medical stuff that happens (J.D. suffers from MS). Boy does the reader get his/her money's worth! Seriously, there was a point some 30 pages before the end where I was surprised to see so many pages left to go and I thought, "Wow, other mysteries would have simply stopped here after the resolution of the primary mystery." It's always a pleasure to find a new author and series, and I can't wait to lay hands on the preceding book in the series and know I'll enjoy it even though i know how it ends after having read this one.

  4. 5 out of 5

    GraceAnne

    It’s a good mystery, and a fine story, and has vivid characters you love to be around. What makes it extraordinarily compelling though, is the rock and roll: how do session folk sit in? How do famous rockers turn up on each other’s recordings? There’s a great amount – all of it fascinating – about rock guitars, who makes them, how they work, and how they sound. There’s a lot about coping with middle age and illness when all you want to do is rock & roll. It culminates in Bree and JP’s wedding, a It’s a good mystery, and a fine story, and has vivid characters you love to be around. What makes it extraordinarily compelling though, is the rock and roll: how do session folk sit in? How do famous rockers turn up on each other’s recordings? There’s a great amount – all of it fascinating – about rock guitars, who makes them, how they work, and how they sound. There’s a lot about coping with middle age and illness when all you want to do is rock & roll. It culminates in Bree and JP’s wedding, and I hope with all my heart that this series gets to film so we can see and hear it live. Just fabulous.

  5. 5 out of 5

    N.S.

    A thoroughly enjoyable read. A fascinating peek into the mind of a guitarist, at life backstage, at how it is to be afflicted with multiple sclerosis. Well-plotted, it had me guessing, though ultimately I found the climax a bit of a cop-out. Still, I will seek out and read the other two books of this series.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ladiibbug

    #3 J.P. Kinkaid Mystery Did Not Finish The title grabbed my attention, as did the book description - a mystery involving rock 'n roll, a murder, a valuable guitar that goes missing ... After 40 pages I was just not able to get involved in the book at all. #3 J.P. Kinkaid Mystery Did Not Finish The title grabbed my attention, as did the book description - a mystery involving rock 'n roll, a murder, a valuable guitar that goes missing ... After 40 pages I was just not able to get involved in the book at all.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Barb

    3 1/2 stars - the title of the george harrison song caught my eye and i was pleasantly surprised with a good mystery and close look at an aging rocker (with a chronic disease) and his old lady. will read more in this series.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Honey

    Grabien can weave a tale and takes you on the ride.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Deborah

    More music-specifics than I needed, not being a guitarist myself

  10. 5 out of 5

    Elaine

    The guitar name dropping was interesting but the characters were annoying

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sherri Gates

    Along with murder, you get an intimate look at behind the scenes of rehearsal sessions and a close-up of JP and Bree's relationship and their past history. Truth, lies, and rock & roll. Along with murder, you get an intimate look at behind the scenes of rehearsal sessions and a close-up of JP and Bree's relationship and their past history. Truth, lies, and rock & roll.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Natasha

    eh, it was an ok book. Not really my style of fiction, I only read it because it was in a rock-and-roll setting & I thought that might be entertaining. It was OK. Murder mystery. OK quick beach read.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Tom

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lee Stivers

  15. 5 out of 5

    Merriwyllow

  16. 4 out of 5

    Vivian

  17. 5 out of 5

    Mary

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen

  19. 5 out of 5

    Pam O'brien

  20. 4 out of 5

    Mvthornton

  21. 4 out of 5

    Miki

  22. 4 out of 5

    De

  23. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

  24. 5 out of 5

    Tracy

  25. 5 out of 5

    Wendy Ledger

  26. 4 out of 5

    Maureen Murphy

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Lanahan

  28. 4 out of 5

    Steve

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn

  30. 5 out of 5

    Tony Funches

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