In the swinging big band era, jazz saxophonist and arranger Ray Sherwood is haunted by personal tragedy. But when Gail Prentice, a beautiful and talented Berkeley student, seeks his help in orchestrating an original composition slated to debut at the newly created Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay, Ray is diverted from his worries and drawn to the beguiling coed. Within moments of their first meeting, however, Ray witnesses a horrifying sight: a woman plunging to her death.

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Janet Maslin, The New York Times :
“Imaginative, smart and impressively elaborate, a sophisticated foray into musical mystery plotting. Holmes can turn a phrase as handily as he can encrypt clues.”

Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times :
“Seizing on the California exposition as a symbol of America at its most optimistic (and unguarded), Holmes recreates a moment when people still lived in a state of innocence, sipping sodas in Rexall’s, dancing to the big bands at the Claremont, strolling the Gayway on Treasure Island. But there are also French Jews being deported to occupied France and a German music professor begging for work. Holmes gathers them all together, the bitter and the sweet, and makes the kind of music you want to hear.”

Otto Penzler, The New York Sun :
“The vastly-talented Tony-, Emmy-, and Edgar-winning Holmes has a sharp eye and a keen ear, as well as the rare ability to describe a person with a single line that brands the character into the brain. I urge you to swing by your local bookseller and bring a copy home.”

The New Yorker Magazine :
“Saturated in noir and swing, the story moves jauntily, its set pieces staged with theatrical flair and its snappy dialogue recalling Ben Hecht’s, [with] Holmes’ stylish sense of ambience and lightness of touch.”

Dick Adler, The Chicago Tribune :
“It’s the people, living and dead, who stay in the memory after the last page has been turned, the last letter-perfect description of a vanished world has touched a chord, the last note of swing music has been played.”

Margaret Cannon, The Toronto Globe and Mail :
“You will want to read Swing. You’ll also want to listen to Swing. I read this book twice and loved it even more the second time. As for the music, well, if you don’t like to listen, you can always get up and dance. Swing swings.”

John Orr, The San Jose Mercury :
“From the first paragraph Swing is subtle and inviting, an excellent novel and an impressive tale of intrigue. We are swept along by beautiful prose in a brilliantly structured story that is fascinating to read as it unfolds its secrets.”

Pohla Smith, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette :
“Swing just might be the best historical thriller of the year. Certainly it is the most creative. In the end, it’s also about something far more sinister than a murder, but to name it would be to give away the fun of the denouement.”

Oline H. Cogdill, Sun-Sentinel :
“Rupert Holmes again proves his talent has few boundaries. Swing scores as a historical mystery that captures the sights, flavor and the sounds of the 1940s. A wonderfully deceptive novel — a breezily written, at times almost gentle story. But then Holmes makes Swing go an octave higher as he surrounds his hero with the jolt of world events. A worthy addition to Holmes’ canon!”

A Parade Magazine PICK OF THE WEEK !

Roderick Nordell, Christian Science Monitor :
“The story pulses like an orchestration itself, with odd harmonies, varying tempos, witty exchanges, and a poignant leitmotif.”

Tom and Enid Schantz, Denver Post :
“Holmes plays fair with the reader all the way and puts all the pieces of what appears to be a crazy quilt into an orderly pattern. Grab hold and enjoy the ride. It’s a dilly!”

Christopher Arnott, New Haven Advocate :
“Swing is a nostalgic, neurotic, patriotic and melodic humdinger of a mystery with hidden motives and savage lusts galore!”

Eric Blommel, Denver Rocky Mountain News :
“I’m pleased to say Swing is no exception to Holmes’ string of successes. Compelling and atmospheric, it’s nostalgic writing at its best, tough, classy and smart. Clever and stylish, with music, femmes fatale, and a tortured protagonist, you won’t regret taking Holmes’ latest novel for a Swing.”

L. H. Abramson, Pages Magazine :
“A ripping good yarn with a marvelous, jaunty, haunting soundtrack!”

Publishers Weekly :
“A tour de force of style and erudition that will delight mystery readers of any sort. A clever, original mystery that’s pure fun to read, listen to, look at and puzzle out. Should make a big splash!”