First published in 1989 and written by Jesse Sublett, one of Austin’s legendary rockers, this hardboiled crime novel, set in the Austin music scene, has been reinvented by Sublett an enhanced eBook developed using iBooks Author from Apple. This iPad edition of the book includes music by Sublett’s legendary band, The Skunks, plus music by one of protagonist Martin Fender’s favorite bands, Cloud 19 (which, like Martin Fender, an Austin blues bass player, is one of Sublett’s alter egos). The book is also richly illustrated with Austin photos, live shots and surrealistic nudes from Sublett’s drawing pad. Interview clips with well-known Austin rock critics, bandmates, and Austin travelogues from Sublett will make you feel like you knocked back a couple tequila shots and woke up in the Continental Club on a rocking Saturday night.
The plot is a crazy swirl of desperate characters in the music scene and on the fringes of society, real estate swindles, vital music and furious energy. Shades of The Maltese Falcon and The Big Sleep, and noiresque humor.
Redolent with the atmosphere of Austin, Tex., Sublett's gripping debut is rooted in his life as a bass guitarist in that city, mecca for hopeful musicians. Narrator Martin Fender, also a bassist, agrees to a gig reuniting the once fabulous ``True Love'' group long after its breakup, when lead guitar KC gets cash in advance from a tricky club owner. After a rehearsal, the performance is canceled because someone murders KC, and amateur sleuth Fender investigates a case that takes on bizarre proportions. Two rock critics are later killed, possibly for stealing a cache of cocaine and the 2000-pound bug landmark atop the local pest-exterminator building. Staying a step ahead of the killers and sexy Lorraine (a threat to Fender's lover Ladonna), the bassist proves his expertise in detecting and, not incidentally, explains why today's performers, composers and fans are enthralled by funky music.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Rock Critic Murders
You are truly in for a treat when you read anything written by the wonderful Jesse Sublett. A true polymath, the author delves into this first book in the Martin Fender series with great wit and sophistication melding his expertise as a musician, writer, and artist with his love of noir to create a wonderfully vivid tale that transports you straight into a classic time in Austin's vibrant music scene. This iBook version is wonderfully updated and includes fantastic video commentary, classic music clips, and artwork by Jesse, truly an Austin legend. Once you sample his writing you will be looking for more!!:)
Go man, go! Austin rocks harder than ever in this book
Don't just take my word for it, listen to Jesse Sublett's fans. Bestselling crime novelists, like James Ellroy (LA Confidential), Michael Connelly (Lincoln Lawyer), Robert B. Parker (the Spenser novels) and many others have praised Jesse's trio of Martin Fender novels and short stories, as well as his nonfiction work. In this ehanced iBook, you will also see and hear lots of great music, and hear sincere and often humorous commentaries from Jesse's colleagues in the music scene, including people like Louis Black (editor of the Austin Chronicle, whose alter ego is killed in the book), Ed Ward (ditto), Robert Draper and Joe Nick Patoski, author of Selena, Willie Nelson: An Epic Life, and Stevie Ray Vaughan: Caught in the Crossfire.
This book shows off all the bells and whistles of Apple's new iBooks Author app, but in a way they probably had not intended. Lots of great looking babes, Austin night life scenes, bands, birds, streets, stages, and etc. You don't have to be a hardboiled crime fan to love this book, you only need a pulse.
A big, crazy dose of Austin, TX, sexy, smart, funny, stylish
JESSE SUBLETT is, like his alter ego, Martin Fender, at least a semi-legend in Texas. His band, the Skunks, helped rock Austin out of the Progressive Country scare, introducing the world to a new, gutsy and brash rock n roll sound that both anticipated the punk / new wave era that followed in 1978, and became a timeless part of the River City culture. In his debut novel, Rock Critic Murders, Sublett takes the reader on an extended visit to his native city, hitting all the high and low places, grooving on Texas roadhouse blues and rock n roll, dangerous women, twisted music scene characters and damaged artists. He also exorcizes his ambivalent relationship with many of the music critics in Austin--individuals who hated his band, but loved and encouraged his writing. In this enhanced edition. Sublett solicits video comments from those same writers, and their responses are insightful, sincere and often hilarious. Sublett also treats the user to highlights of Austin in a series of video postcards, and the iBook also rocks out with music from the Skunks and several of Sublett's other musical personas, including Cloud 19, and his current act as a blues and murder ballad troubadour.