Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Review: The Dead Play On

The Dead Play On (Cafferty & Quinn- Book 3) by Heather Graham

Publication Date: 03/31/2015
Publisher: Harlequin
Imprint: Harlequin MIRA
Genre: Romantic Suspense/Paranormal
Pages: 336

(Received for an honest review from Harlequin MIRA)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Indiebound, itunes

Heather Graham on the WEB: website, blog, twitter, facebook, goodreads

Books in the Series:

Cafferty & Quinn

1. Let the Dead Sleep
2. Waking the Dead
3. The Dead Play On

Coverart: Click on the image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series

Excerpt from The Dead Play On, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature


Play a song for me…  

Musicians are being murdered in New Orleans. But Arnie Watson apparently died by his own hand. When Tyler Anderson plays the saxophone he inherited from Arnie, a soldier and musician who died soon after his return, he believes he sees visions of his friend's life—and death. He becomes convinced Arnie was murdered and that the instrument had something to do with whatever happened, and with whatever's happening all over the city… 

Tyler knows his theory sounds crazy to the police, so he approaches Danni Cafferty, hoping she and Michael Quinn will find out what the cops couldn't. Or wouldn't. After all, Cafferty and Quinn have become famous for solving unusual crimes. 

They're partners in their personal lives, too. Quinn's a private investigator and Danni works with him. When they look into the case, they discover a secret lover of Arnie's and a history of jealousies and old hatreds that leads them back to the band Arnie once played with—and Tyler plays with now. 

They discover that sometimes, for some people, the line between passion and obsession is hard to draw. Only in uncovering the truth can they hope to save others—and themselves—from the deadly hands of a killer.


The Queen of paranormal romantic suspense, returns with the third book in the Cafferty and Quinn series. Heather Graham's books always have that little touch of the paranormal in them and The Dead Play On is no different. This time it is in the saxophone of a dead Jazz player. Graham writes about the jazz scene in the city New Orleans like someone who has lived their all their life. She is able to give this book a dark, but sultry atmosphere that pervades it and gives the reader that chills down your spine kind of feeling. A great addition to this series!

New Orleans is one my favorite cities to read about. It has this Old World kind of feeling mixed with the influences of Voodoo and Creole. Everything from the accents of the people to the traditions and rituals is dark and inky. Like you are seeing on part of what is really happening. It strikes me as a place of secrets and Heather Graham is sooooo good at bringing it to life. Whether it's the ghostly aspect of things or the mysterious aspect. Whether it's the music or the mayhem, Graham knows how to write this town. 

In The Dead Play On, Graham delves deep into the musical history of the town. Drawing on the legends and stories passed down from musicians and players to give the reader a mystery that will captivate them. I loved the way Graham takes the reader into the Jazz atmosphere and makes them want to feel the music as much as listen to it. Arnie was a Jazz saxophone player and when he died, his spirit seems to reside in his horn. What an interesting idea to base a mystery on. I liked the fact that it had to do with musicians and the music of New Orleans. Very well done!

When Tyler, Arnie's best friend plays the sax given to him by Arnie's mother, something strange happens. Everyone thinks that Arnie died of a drug overdose but Tyler sees something completely different when he plays Arnie's horn. He sees the way he really died and he knows that this horn has something to do with the deaths of the other musicians in New Orleans. I loved the whole back story for this one. It was ingenious really. The killer looking for the horn almost driven by it to kill. I thought it was very well written, but most Heather Graham books are. 

Tyler appeals to Cafferty and Quinn to help him prove to the authorities that Arnie's death was a murder. Cafferty and Quinn have some expertise at crimes that are little out of the ordinary. I love the way these two characters work together. They play off each other and they aren't afraid to say that a crime has a supernatural element to it. They believe Tyler and it's up to them to prove it. I like the fact that there are two investigators with this series. Reminds me a bit of Scully and Moulder. LOL! Love it!

Bottom Line:

Another amazing book from Heather Graham. She is one of my favorites. The paranormal elements don't beat the reader over the head, they are subtle and intriguing. I don't know that I believe in ghosts or spirits or the essence of a person being left in their musical instrument, but I do believe in Heather Graham's ability to make me wonder if maybe that could be possible. A great book, you won't want to miss!

The Dead Play On is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

About the Author:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Heather Graham has written more than a hundred novels. She's a winner of the RWA's Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Thriller Writers' Silver Bullet. She is an active member of International Thriller Writers and Mystery Writers of America. For more information, check out her websites:,, and You can also find Heather on Facebook.