Rock & Roll Homicide

Humor, Mystery & Thrillers

By RJ McDonnell

Publisher : Killeena Publishing

ABOUT RJ McDonnell

RJ McDonnell
I am the author of the Rock & Roll Mystery Series. My first novel, Rock & Roll Homicide, has been two Kindle Top 100 lists from June 2014 through October 2014.  My second novel, Rock & Roll Rip-Off won the Premier Book Awards 2010 Mystery/Thriller of the Year. The third book i More...


Just as the rock band, Doberman’s Stub, was about to reach stadium tour status, its leader was brutally murdered when his headphones exploded during a recording session. The widow, who inherits $5 million, is the San Diego Police Department’s number one suspect. She hires Jason Duffy, a 27-year-old PI in his first year of private practice, in spite of his background as a former musician.

Jason learns that the victim was also a very skilled contract negotiator, who was in the middle of an acrimonious renegotiation with the record company at the time of his death. He also finds that the record company has a very unhealthy tie to the Russian Mafia.

As an inexperienced detective, Jason does not yet have the contacts within the police department to gather vital information. He is forced to mend fences with his estranged father, an opinionated ex-SDPD detective.

While Jason investigates the record company, he also takes a close look at the three surviving members of the victim’s band. One is an alcoholic/drug addict drummer, on the verge of being kicked out of the group. The second is a bass player who camouflages his rock star status by living in an ordinary house in a lower middle-class neighborhood. Third is a lead guitarist and writer of half of the band’s songs, who lives well beyond his means.

Jason has not yet become hardened to the very real dangers of his new profession. We experience his inner conflict as his girlfriend, staff, and family are drawn into the danger zone.

After Jason’s part-time employee is severely beaten during a stakeout, he sells the story of the Russian Mafia’s involvement in the record business to a tabloid journalism TV show in a misguided effort to protect his employer and coworker. This serves to drive the case to new heights of danger and suspense.

Jason goes behind the industry veneer of sex & drugs & hedonistic lifestyles. He shows us how the 21st Century world of downloads, file sharing, and image demographics need to be considered in a case of Rock & Roll Homicide.

AC Associated Content - Arts & Entertainment

"Most enjoyable for readers are the characters author RJ McDonnell brings to the story. They grow and develop over the course of the story, and readers get drawn into their worlds."

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"RJ McDonnell's enjoyable style is somewhere between Carl Hiaasen's in Basket Case and Michael Connelly's in Chasing the Dime ... Rock & Roll Homicide is both interesting and entertaining." ... reviewed by Steve Moore

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"I'm not too old to enjoy a good rocker story and McDonnell delivers it ... It's a great murder mystery." ... reviewed by
Marlene Pyle

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Stubble Music Magazine

"This is the best rock & roll murder mystery I've read in years - and believe me I seek them out." ... reviewed by Kitty Harte

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Apex Reviews

"Rock & Roll Homicide is a fast-paced, deeply twisted, and hilarious story that will have readers salivating for more as they dive further into the plot. McDonnell has a great knowledge of the music industry, and his characters are dysfunctional, yet well-crafted. Rock & Roll Homicide is a well thought out mystery that leaves you on the edge of your seat. This cast of characters is perfect for a series, and hopefully we'll see just that in the future." ... reviewed by Brooke Carleton

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Critical Mick (Ireland)

"The novel's romantic subplot was both refreshing and authentic ... It's a fun read ... Rock & Roll Homicide is at its best when RJ McDonnell is pushing the PI formula into places it has not traditionally been pushed. I look forward to see where he and Jason Duffy go next." reviewed by Mick Halpin

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Reading and Reviewing

Title: "Great Characters Make for Great Music Mystery" ... "McDonnell never forgets that in every situation, there are real motivations, and he is able to bring out the best in his characters and story." reviewed by Christine Zibas

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The Midwest Book Review

"A brilliantly written tale of sex, drugs, rock & roll, and the Mob. "Rock & Roll Homicide" is highly recommended for community library mystery collections."

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Armchair Interviews Book Review

"Armchair Interviews says: Wonderful character development."

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Mysterious Reviews / Hidden Staircase Mystery Books

"Filled with insider details of the entertainment industry, music and mystery fans alike will be thrilled with Rock & Roll Homicide. But even those readers simply looking for a fast-paced story with likeable characters will appreciate the book."

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Books n Bytes

"When I first picked up this book, I thought the entire idea was funny but was in no way going to hold my interest. WRONG! McDonnell has written the first in what I hope to be a series that quite cleverly ties three different strands together into a workable whole and provides an entertaining twist on PI work. Watch for more - this should be a series!" reviewed by Webspinner 

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Gumshoe Review

"Jason has not yet become hardened to the very real dangers of his new profession. We experience his inner conflict as his girlfriend, staff, and family are drawn into the danger zone."

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"Rock & Roll Homicide is an engaging mystery that takes the reader through a very detailed investigation."

Reviewed by Connie Harris. For the full review click: