How Jazzy Are These Books?

The author calls the Casey McKie books "jazz mysteries", but what role does the music have in these books? Is this descriptive accurate? What do readers say, particularly those in the business?

And All That Murder 2009
Setting: San Francisco Oakland, Palm Springs, Seattle. New York

"The author has great insight into the genre and the world of the jazz player… Her opinions and perspective through her characters were quite authentic."

 - Joe Sullivan, musician

And All That Sea 2010
Setting: Jazz Cruise on the Caribbean

Authentic knowledge of the jazz world
October 7, 2015
Joan Merrill is an author of mysteries set with a background of the jazz music world. She demonstrates a skill of authenticity and knowledge of how that world works. I found it well-written and the plot intriguing, She is right on with the characters and she knows the scene better than any other writer dealing with the jazz genre. I am eager to read more of her work. Five (5) stars.

- JazzKim

And All That Stalking 2011
Setting: San Francisco’s North Beach

"A story of intrigue and revenge, all set to the beat of the blues and be-bop."

- Carol Sloane, jazz singer 

And All That Motive
Setting: Pacific Coast Jazz Festival. Monterey, San Francisco

The interplay between jazz musicians, club owners, promoters, journalists and fans all come with the ring of truth.

- Bruce Crowther, Jazz Journal

“The fictional jazz instrumentalists, singers and those involved in the business of jazz all sound and act realistically.”

- Scott Yanow, LA Times

“I'm a jazz musician and felt that the author did a great job of keeping things real…with the true joys/hazards of the biz…”

- Shanna Carlson, jazz singer, pianist

The following excerpts are from the book Jazz Fiction, Take Two by David Rife with James Langdon, in which the authors analyzed hundreds of books purporting to be in some way related to the music form known as jazz. 
Among them is the Casey Mckie mystery series – five novels in which San Francisco private investigator Casey McKie is called upon to solve a crime, usually murder. Each book is set in the world of jazz music, a world that Joan Merrill knows very well and brings alive to the reader. 


And All That Murder 
     “This is a jazz mystery from cover to cover. Musicians real and musicians imagined are frequently mentioned and successfully seen in action. Emphasis is on the business end of the music in which profit is more important than the art, The author knows whereof she speaks, having worked as a talent agent and a manager.”

And All That Sea
     “Casey and a jazz magazine editor discuss the effects of journalism on the consumer with her critical of the magazine’s influence. A subplot involves the copyright of a song based on the Countess.”

And All That Stalking      
     “Jazz is everywhere in this book from the club settings to discussions of the difference between the classic jazz artist and the new breed.”

And All That Madness
     “As in the other novels, jazz is ubiquitous, although often in the background. PI Casey McKie goes to New York jazz clubs from Greenwich Village to Harlem. She interacts with editors and writers and combs the archives with the help of a true jazz geek. Many readers will be interested but not surprised at the attention given to the plight of the black musicians in the decades following World War II.”

And All That Motive
     “The jazz content is found in the jazz fest and jazz night club and when the knowledgeable jazz fan Casey helps her singer friend Dee assemble a playlist for her forthcoming duet CD.” 

To purchase: The best deal is from this website.

Autographed paperbacks are $15.00 with free shipping.

USB (flash drive) audiobook $15.00with free shipping.

Go to The Corner Store.

Audiobook available at Audible with subscription

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:
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