In case you haven't read my first book, this series follows the adventures of a record collector turned sleuth. (And be warned, this post contains spoilers about Written in Dead Wax.) If you have read the first one, there are a couple of differences this time around...
For a start, the previous adventure recounted the search for a rare jazz record, so it was immersed in that particular musical world. This time around it's rock music, in particular the British psychedelic or "prog" (for progressive) rock of the 1960s.
In fact, when I began working on The Run-Out Groove I had a very specific inspiration in mind from that scene. The brilliant and ill-fated Syd Barrett, a founder member of Pink Floyd. Barrett was a fascinating and tragic figure and I knew this was potentially powerful material.
So I reached for the biography of Syd Barrett I'd had knocking around the house for several years... and realised I'd donated it to a charity shop just the previous week. Ah well.
This was no bad thing. The notion of a musical genius who became an acid casualty was all I really needed. It was enough of a seed for that element of the story.
But the really big difference between The Run-Out Groove and Written in Dead Wax is that Nevada, the fun loving femme fatale from the first book, has now moved in with our hero and they are an item.
Was this a risk? Changing the Vinyl Detective from an archetypical loner shamus to half of a detective duo? Not really, I knew this could work because I was following in the footsteps of giants. Specifically the footsteps of the wonderful Dashiell Hammett.
Hammett was one of the greatest crime novelists of them all. And among his finest creations are the urbane Nick and Nora Charles, a husband and wife mystery-solving team. They featured in Hammett's 1934 novel The Thin Man and thereafter in an enduring and wildly popular series of movies.
Let's hope the Vinyl Detective and Nevada have some of that longevity and durability...
Oh, and since my friend is insisting I promote my new book, you can buy it here if you're in the USA, or here if you're in the UK.
Or, indeed, if you'd like a signed copy, leave a message for me in the comment section of this post and we'll see if we can work something out.
(Image credits: The rather lovely and elegant Thin Man cover is from a little known internet book seller called Amazon. All the other images are from my own collection. The gorgeously gaudy pink and blue creations were commissioned by me from a very talented designer called James King before I got my book deal with Titan, and was toying with the idea of self-publishing.)