The Last Songbird takes the reader on a car ride through the dark and lonely streets of Los Angeles as the driver tries to find the murderer of a pop icon and discover who she really was.
This story is told from the perspective of Adam Zantz, a down-on-his-luck Hollywood wannabe who sleeps in the storage space of a recording company that is going out of business. He has tried many careers, including as a music critic and a recording engineer, but he has not succeeded at any. His latest job is as a Lyft driver. He writes songs in his head and listens to seventies music while he cruises along the Pacific Coast Highway. One night, his fare is the singer-songwriter Annie Linden. Maybe, Adam thinks, his luck is turning around. Annie contracts him as her personal, “off app” Lyft driver and offers to mentor him as he pursues songwriting. Her last text to him is cryptic: “AZ beach house 8pm come to my arms.” Before he arrives to pick her up, she has been murdered.
Adam, for his part, has been looking for love and acceptance in all the wrong places. His troubled mother died when he was young; now Annie is dead. He decides to pull out his expired private investigator ID, uncover Annie’s killer, and clear his own name from the suspect list.
As he learns the story of Annie’s life, meeting the people she knew and ruling them out as suspects, she turns out to be quite different from the person he knew. He stumbles around discovering the truth about damaged relationships and long-held family secrets.
Author Daniel Weizmann has come a long way from using his bar mitzvah money to start the early LA punk fanzine Rag in Chains. Thanks to his incredible knowledge of pop music, he has written a terrific debut mystery novel that looks like the beginning of a series.
Merle Eisman Carrus resides in New Hampshire and writes book reviews for the NH Jewish Reporter newspaper. She is a graduate of Emerson College and received her Masters of Jewish Studies from Hebrew College. She blogs her book reviews at firstname.lastname@example.org