When jazz singer Dee Jefferson asks her friend Casey McKie to investigate the death of a fellow jazz club owner, the San Francisco P.I. hesitates. Though Dee insists it was murder, all the evidence points to suicide. As an African-American, Dee may be simply reacting to her mistrust of the police. And when Casey learns the investigating officer is her ex, she has another reason not to take the job. But friendship wins out, and Casey dives into the case. As more bodies are found, Casey eventually buys Dee's theory that a psychopath is targeting people in the jazz industry.

She fears Dee herself may be in the killer's crosshairs. As Casey becomes embroiled in the increasingly complex case, she travels from San Francisco's Chinatown and North Beach to the gay community in Palm Springs to the Pacific Northwest. The quest culminates in a harrowing confrontation with the deadly maniac.

Click here to read a sample chapter. 

To purchase go to the Corner Store.

“We readers are pulled into a shadowy and sometimes twisted world. Author Joan Merrill has crafted an excellent first novel with as many twists both musically and mysteriously as to please any reader.” 

- Robbin Adair

“I envy private investigator Casey McKie. She lives in San Francisco's Chinatown, sets her own hours, hangs out at her best friend's North Beach jazz club, and puts serial killers away in her spare time. True, she gets roughed up on the job from time to time, and her baby clock is ticking....but other than that, she's got a great life. Music, mystery, and San Francisco's multicultural mix...what's not to love?”

 Kate Sherwin

“An excellent read, consistently intriguing and unpredictable, I liked the rhythm of the writing and descriptions of the jazz world” 

- Vince Kilmer

“I think the author has great insight into the genre and the world of the jazz player. We did it just right. Better than most books of this nature that involve jazz musicians. Her opinions and perspective through her characters were quite authentic…..Overall, a wonderful book to experience. I will make it a point to read more of this author's work.”

- Tom Sullivan

To purchase: The best deal is from this website.

Autographed paperbacks are $15.00 with free shipping.

Go to The Corner Store.

Paperback and Kindle are also available on includes 50 videos and numerous essays on the singers and songwriters of The Golden Age (1920s-1965).

Listen to the Great American Songbook with host JM Jazz (Joan Merrill) on WETF the jazz station in South Bend, Indiana 
Saturday at 5 pm. Repeating Sunday at Midnight.
Live stream website:
Listen to 80 archived shows on