Deborah Grabien. While My Guitar Gently Weeps (2009) 274 pp.
Rock guitarist John “JP” Kinkaid—an ex-pat Brit—is back home in San Francisco after completing a world tour with his band, Blacklight. He is keeping busy by sitting in on rehearsal sessions with a local group, the Bombardiers, as they break in a new front man, Vinny Fabiano, and get ready to record a new CD. JP is also working hard at keeping his multiple sclerosis at bay and staying out of the way as his long-time girlfriend, Bree Godwin, plans their wedding. Although Vinny is generally regarded as a pain in the ass by his new bandmates, he does have some genuine talent and the sessions are going well. That is, until Vinny gets his head caved in by one of his own flashy guitars, a beautiful custom-made axe hand-crafted by a local luthier (what JP really cannot figure out is, who would willfully damage such a fine guitar by killing someone with it?). San Francisco Homicide inspector, Patrick Ormand (recently transferred from New York, where he had a previous encounter with JP and Blacklight), arrives to take over the investigation and the Bombardiers go in search of yet another new singer. This, at least, is one problem that JP can solve: he calls up Malcolm “Mac” Sharpe, lead singer of Blacklight, in London and asks him to fill in. Just when things are getting good and “groiny” (Bree’s description of JP’s guitar sound), there is another murder. This time it is a guitar technician (and Vinny’s cousin), and Vinny’s most valuable guitar, one that JP needed to be able to recreate Vinny’sound, is missing. It seems as if someone really does not want the Bombardiers to finish this record.
Setting: San Francisco; Sausalito