Intrepid pioneering San Francisco rock and roll reporter Rennie Stride finds herself once again as the Angel of Death's groupie, in the middle of plans, plots and playlists at the famed Monterey Pop festival of June 1967. Where she runs into music and murder, not necessarily in that order. And when friends (and enemies) start turning up dead in the psychedelic crossfire, she goes looking for justice---or vengeance---for them all...
Patricia Morrison is an amazing storyteller and knows how to hook you into the world and keep you guessing. I got hooked on this series with the first book, Ungrateful Dead, and I've stayed hooked. Rennie Stride is caught up in the world of rock again--fast gaining the reputation of "Murder chick." As friend and foe alike start dropping around her, it's up to Rennie to solve the crime and pin the tail on the murderer. Ms. Morrison has that uncanny ability to weave a great story with excellent plotting and pacing. Her characters are so real--even the fictional ones--and I feel like I know them from the moment I "meet" them. I get so caught up that I can't put it down, and especially with this one, I miss a lot of sleep until I know who dun it. This is a great series of books, one that Dame Agatha Christie would enjoy reading and they certainly invoke her with the style and the writing. I truly believe Patricia Morrison will be joining her like in the annals of... More > "classical" literature with these books. A must have for your library!!< Less
Second installment in the Stride series by Patricia Morrison. Just as well written and engrossing as the others in the series, with more characters added and another good mystery, not dead easy to figure out. The 60s ambience remains solid and the characters are interesting and fun to read about, and of course justice is done. I do recommend this and the other two books highly. Please buy them and help to spread the word about this series. It is a worthy entry into the mystery field.
Patricia Morrison makes you wish you were there. Her characters and stories are wonderfully written. Using her knowledge of music and musicians of the time period she gives you a world completely fleshed out and keeps you wanting more. Rennie Stride is an intelligent and worthy heroine. The plot of this book keeps you guessing and wanting to know what is around every turn. The Monterey Pop festival is a wonderful backdrop and her descriptions of the music that was played makes you long for a time machine so you could be there yourself. I highly recommend this and any of her books!
"California Screamin'" Where were you during the "Summer of Love"? Possibly at the Monterey Pop festival? Patricia Morrison's new Rennie Stride mystery takes you there in a story that is evocative of the time period and yet as fresh as today. Rennie and friends are ready to mix with the big guys of music at Monterey, but before that happens there is an "anti-festival" festival to attend and a murder to investigate. Drawing on her knowledge of music and musicians, Patricia Morrison gives the reader a privileged place where we can see what really happens and learn what the makers of the music think and feel. Rennie is a sympathetic and intriguing main character, and her friends become our friends as we move through the music scene together. For anyone who lived in the day, and for all those who appreciate the music of the time, I guarantee you will be singing along to a soundtrack in your head as you read. There is so much in this book to enjoy with places... More > one can visualize and characters that we care about, and the humor, the realistic friendships plus a great story make this a completely satisfying adventure.< Less
"Pick this up. You won't put it down." I loved this book. I love Patricia Kennealy-Morrison's Rock & Roll Murders series, and strongly recommend it to anyone-- but particularly to readers who love murder mysteries, rock history, or, like myself, both. I particularly love what Ms. Kennealy-Morrison does with characters, settings, details; and what a setting she gives us in this novel: Monterey Pop! With gloriously rendered portraits of music titans-- Hendrix, Joplin, Who, Airplane, Dead-- and their legendary Monterey performances, the rock nerd part of me would want to read California Screamin' even if I didn't enjoy murder mysteries. Fortunately, though, Ms. Kennealy-Morrison is as dab a hand with plotting as she is with the rich touches that make her worlds come alive. I really wanted to figure out that murderer! I enjoy the subtle, witty ways in which Ms. Kennealy-Morrison both nods to and subverts the tropes familiar to any lover of murder mysteries-- for example,... More > the Agatha Christie-style huge house with many possibly evil guests is given to us, yes-- but then that comforting standby is expanded into the entire Monterey Pop festival. Characters are a particular strong point in the book. Turk Wayland makes his first appearance, and is absolutely real-- relaxed, talented, confidently interesting. Can't wait to see more of him. We get to meet our old friends Prax and Tansy again, too, as well as a host of other new faces, including a nice Gothic touch: a girl damaged by acid, who may or may not be the catalyst for murder. It's also remarkable how well Ms. Kennealy-Morrison blends her own, imagined bands in with the actual groups. Also wanted to add, here, that I adore Rennie Stride, the intrepid heroine of this series. It is so refreshing to read a female protagonist who is unashamedly smart. It's key to note here, though, that Ms. Kennealy-Morrison is quite matter-of-fact about this; she simply lets Rennie be smart and tough, without calling attention to it, justifying it, or defending it. SO nice not to have the intellect and guts of a woman character repeatedly gestured to as a marvel, as in "Hey! A talking dog!" Well done, Ms. Kennealy-Morrison.< Less
"Another great book from Patricia Morrison" In the second Rennie Stride book, we find music journalist Rennie about to attend the "Big Magic" (fictional) and Monterey Pop (real) music festivals in 1967, toward the end of the "Summer of Love." Now clearly established as a professional music critic, Rennie can't help but become involved in crime as she discovers murdered friends and acquaintances at the festivals. In spite of being exceptionally perceptive (something that could be annoying), Rennie has a loving, open heart and brains that endear her to her friends and readers and make her a good reporter. The twists and turns of this mystery will make you sit up and pay attention to the last page. Once again, it is great to be able to pick up a new Patricia Morrison book. With the rock-n-roll mysteries, the sights, sounds, feelings and vibe of the '60s music scene come to technicolor life for readers to understand what it was like to hear The Who perform... More > "My Generation" live and experience the mind-altered performances of Jimi Hendrix.< Less
"More Rennie, More Mystery" Patricia Morrison’s new Rennie Stride novel opens out the series. Ungrateful Dead intro’d the main characters and now they get to live in the amazing world of the Sixties. Partway through California Screamin’ I realized that the Stride books do parallel the best fantasy writing in that we get to follow an individualized, interesting band of friends and comrades on their adventures in a strange strange land, one weirder and closer than Middle Earth or Oz. Rennie’s world has become larger (up and down the California coast, with New York City and further distant promised) and deeper (as the characters grow, interact and multiply). This is not to slight the mystery aspect, which if anything is even smarter and twistier than Ungrateful Dead. There’s a wonderful reveal of whodunnit (one of the “it”s) and how at the end that probably has been available since the dawn of storytelling, but that I don’t know of ever being used before. The specific... More > Wonderland of rock ‘n’ roll in the 60s, and the exotic creatures, styles, substances and musics that populate it are evoked with care and art. Very enjoyable, and very promising for the books to come.< Less
"Welcome back, Rennie and friends" As a college professor, I'm grateful that Patricia Morrison's "California Screamin'" was a summer release. Morrison's mix of intriguing plot and interesting characters would have cost me sleep during the school year. And it would have been worth it. "Screamin'" brings back Rennie Stride, a woman intent on building her own life at a time when women's choices were not supposed to include Rennie's passion, journalism. But Rennie has become a rock reporter and, as this story opens, an increasingly-respected one. (Her path to that career is part of the story in Morrison's "Ungrateful Dead," which I'd also recommend.) Rennie's had the good fortune to land in an organization that recognizes her talent, with an editor willing to accept only the best she can give him. And that best is very good -- Rennie is a keen observer of the world around her and willing to dig hard to get the story right and get it first. Trouble... More > is, Rennie is also far too good at finding herself in the middle of murder, even, as here, at the Monterey Pop Festival. As the story starts, Rennie and friends arrive in the region early to attend Big Magic, created by people who find Monterey too commercial. Rennie's stalker, Murder, arrives about the same time, striking once at Big Magic and three more times at Monterey. Morrison weaves the music and murder together adeptly. Rennie's rock insider status allows her to observe the collision of idealistic musicians with music business folks, both good and greedy. She sees the changing of the guard from one wave of '60s musicians, people like the Mamas and the Papas, to the harder-edged music of people like Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. And by story's end, she -- and we -- see the truth of who killed each of the four victims and how their stories blend together. Morrison, a former journalist, gives Rennie reactions that ring true to anyone who's worked in the field. For one example, forced to deal with the death of a long-time friend, Rennie forces herself into "reporter mode ... I must remember how this is, I must see everything, it's my JOB, it's the only way I can help him now..." An honest look at priorities -- get the story right and get it written, then fall apart. You can start the series with "California Screamin';" Morrison provides enough backstory to keep things clear for you. Just be prepared -- you're likely to like Rennie and her friends very much and find yourself wanting to spend more time with them.< Less
"Another great one!" The second of the Rennie Stride mysteries, set in the turbulent summer of the Monterey Pop festival, is everything you'd want it to be, and more. Patricia Morrison is in top form in this one, presenting us with more than one murder, and a host of fascinating characters who move through the pages on their own missions (of mercy, or mayhem... who can tell!). Again, the crimes are deftly plotted, and the reveal is done just right. It's clear that Mrs. Morrison knows her stuff, as the Festival sections read like an "at the scene" report, complete with record company sharks and the musical fishies who are their prey. Do yourself a favor and pick up this, and all the rest of Patricia Morrison's books (both the Rennie Stride, and Keltaid series'). But only if you enjoy reading amazing stories by a deft and talented writer!
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