Date Published: March 15, 2023
An obscure rock'n'roll roadie dies under mysterious circumstances. His prized Jimi Hendrix guitar has gone missing. Can Rolly Waters save his new client from the ruthless collectors looking for it?
When nurse and fledgling pilot Lucinda Rhodes hires guitar-playing private detective Rolly Waters to track down a Stratocaster guitar owned by her deceased father, Rolly is thrilled to take on her case, especially when he learns the guitar’s original owner may have been Jimi Hendrix. But Gerry Rhodes’s reckless personal history leads to more questions than Rolly and Lucinda have bargained for, as an aging rock’n’roll impresario, his trophy wife, a Russian gangster and the FBI get involved. When a forty-year-old shooting accident reveals a surprising connection to a pop star’s hit record, Rolly sees darker forces at work. And his and Lucinda’s lives hang in the balance.
Gillespie Field Groove is the fifth book in the Rolly Waters mystery series
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About the Author
Corey Lynn Fayman has made a career of avoiding the sunlight in his hometown of San Diego, California, where he’s done hard time as a keyboard player for local bands, a sound designer for the world-famous Old Globe Theatre, and an interactive designer for organizations both corporate and sundry. Armed with a B.A. in Creative Writing from UCLA and an M.A. in Educational Technology from SDSU, he’s also taught technology and design courses at various colleges and universities in Southern California.
Fayman's adventures working for the infamous Internet startup MP3.com led him to conceive the character of Rolly Waters, the guitar-playing detective first featured in the San Diego Book Awards nominated mystery, Black’s Beach Shuffle. Unduly encouraged by this early success, he set about writing a second Rolly Waters Mystery, Border Field Blues, winner of the Genre Award at the 2013 Hollywood Book Festival. Desert City Diva, the third novel in the series, was a bronze award winner in Foreword Reviews 2015 Indiefab Book of the Year Awards. The latest in the series, Ballast Point Breakdown, was awarded the best-in-show Geisel Award at the 2021 San Diego Book Awards.
The man sat down on the steps, lit up a joint, and watched the cops beat up kids in the parking lot. White kids mostly. Hippies. Young people who wanted to hear Jimi Hendrix. The concert was sold out, but the kids showed up anyway, hoping to get in. He’d seen it before. The crowd outside would get restless. Someone would call in more cops. The kids wouldn’t leave, and the cops would start bashing away. The tour would be over in two weeks. No more riots. No more early-morning equipment load-outs, trying to sleep on the bus, mixing uppers and downers to regulate his diurnal rhythms. After the last show, he’d go home, sleep for a week, then start all over again. There was a teenaged girl sitting at the edge of the concrete steps below him. She was crying.
“Lucy,” the man said. He looked up from his easy chair. This was his room, his house. He’d put a record on the old turntable. And now the record had ended. The tone arm clicked as it lifted and returned to its rest. The songs on the record held secrets that only he knew.
He took another toke, stood up and walked down to check on the girl who was crying. The lost and lonely kids were there every night too, sitting alone, teenagers trapped in the tragedy of their own adolescence.
“Are you okay?” he asked.
The girl looked up at him, her mascara running like ink from a fountain pen.
“I don’t know what to do,” she said and started sobbing again.
The man lifted his hand and felt the side of his head, the right side where something had hit him. His hair felt matted and wet. He needed to go to the hospital. He needed to call for an ambulance. Lucy was a nurse. She’d know what to do. He reached for his phone.
A medallion hung around the girl’s neck. A love medallion, she called it. There’d been some sort of contest, sponsored by the local radio station. The winner would get to go backstage and give the medallion to Jimi. But the radio station had never cleared the plan with anyone on Jimi’s team. The girl and her chaperone, a marketing rep from the station, had been escorted out of the building. The rep, some middle-aged square, was way out of his comfort zone. Disconcerted by his ward’s emotional breakdown, repulsed by the fecund presence of dope-smoking hippies and fearing the riot police, he’d abandoned his ward on the steps of the arena, slapping five dollars in her hand and telling her to take a cab home. The girl sat on the steps, clutching the five-dollar bill. She said her parents would kill her if they knew where she’d been. She said she couldn’t go home.
As the man reached for his phone, a manila envelope slipped from his lap. He leaned down and retrieved it. The word LUCY had been written in large block letters on the front of the envelope. The photograph inside had been taken a long time ago, before the man in the photo had died. He would give it to Lucy. He reached for his phone again and tapped Lucy’s name.
The boss had given him ten minutes for his break, before Jimi went on. He’d used up five of those minutes already, but he couldn’t leave the girl here, all alone with squirrelly hippie dudes and cops busting heads. The cops would toss her in jail with the rest. Or maybe something worse. He saw the tour bus parked behind the concrete barrier of the loading dock. He reached out his hand and helped her up.
Lucy didn’t answer the phone. She must be working. The man put the phone down. He closed his eyes and leaned his head against the chair. He’d learned, on the road, how to drift off to sleep in an instant. His thoughts faded. A light appeared, rushing toward him. And then he stopped breathing.