England, December 1968...
Rennie Stride, rock journalist (“Murder Chick” to her fans, friends and enemies), and Prax McKenna, rock star, are in England for a Christmas house party, at a country castle belonging to their superstar friends Gray and Prue Sonnet.
Prax and her band are recording at London’s famed Abbey Road studios; Rennie has joined her, trying to console herself over the spectacular breakup of her romance with equally spectacular guitar god Turk Wayland—who just happens to be spending the holidays in his homeland.
The folk-rock group Dandiprat, good friends of all concerned, are giving a New Year’s Eve concert at the Royal Albert Hall. Only it’s not the New Year’s baby who shows up, but the Grim Reaper. A little bit of auld lang syne they could all do without. Especially Rennie…
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People Reviewed This Product
Aug 2, 2011
I'm a big fan, and I wish I could give this a better rating, but I don't feel it's up to Morrison's normal standards. The atmospherics are good, but Rennie is tiresome. Editing and craftsmanship errors make it read more like a second draft in need of an edit than a polished novel.
When we join Rennie Stride, ace rock reporter, at the start of "A Hard Slay's Night," she's in England for a holiday visit. What Rennie's plans do include: * Keeping friend Prax McKenna company while Prax and her band are recording; * Attending a Christmas party at the country estate of friends Gray and Prue Sonnet; * Attending the New Year's show presented by friends Dandiprat at the Royal Albert Hall; * Trying to recover from her break-up with rock superstar Turk Wayland. What Rennie's plans don't include: * Murder, in most spectacular fashion, at the Royal Albert Hall; * A plot which she slowly discovers is endangering several of her friends. "A Hard Slay's Night" is the fourth book in Patricia Morrison's Rennie Stride series, set in the 1960s. Morrison knows both journalism and the '60s music scene -- her books are packed full of the details that leave a reader thinking "this is right ... this is the way it was." For example, as Rennie begins to track... More > the murders in London, she discovers a story that no one has yet spotted -- her pleasure when that becomes front-page fodder will have the journalists in the audience smiling. Another side note: You can start with any of the Rennie books; Morrison provides enough backstory that you can catch up easily. But here, I'd go back at least one book, since the story of Rennie's romance with Turk Wayland begins in "Love Him Madly." And by the time you read that book, I suspect you're going to want to go back to the beginning and meet Rennie as she starts her rock writing career. She's an interesting lady to know. All four Rennie books are available from lulu.com.< Less
This is a great read - if you love English country house murder mysteries, rock, and the 60s, then this is for you. In fact, if you like character-driven, well-plotted detective fiction, then this is also for you! The English countryside detail is authentic, I loved all the characters (and their houses) and there are some genuinely sinister elements underlying the murders themselves. Rennie remains a wonderful heroine - she's growing and changing, but she is never insipid or, conversely, irritatingly feisty. She is someone one would like to know and hang out with. This series is great fun, and highly recommended.
Another fantastic book! Patricia Morrison does it again and this is a must read. Don't be surprised if you end up with your nose buried in it until you finish it. A lot of people say "I couldn't put it down" and rarely does the book match that. But this one does. Rennie has gone off to console her broken heart--after a break up with "the love of her life," Turk Wayland--with her friend Prax, who's in London England to record an album with her band. But attending a New Year's Eve concert with friends leads to, once again, Murder Chick's reputation remaining intact--murders in the Royal Albert Hall. And Rennie is right on hand and in the thick of things. Morrison knows just how to push the buttons and pace the action, how to play out the events, and how bring her characters into a reality that makes them live and breathe. The story is a bit more character driven this time but that doesn't detract from the action. 'A Hard Slay's Night' is a compelling read that will... More > keep you riveted until the last words are displayed on the page and the action has played out. I literally had to read until I was done. A fantastic read and an excellent write!< Less
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