All is not well on the film set of director Bill Wade’s new blockbuster, Dark Harvest, currently being shot in Kent. At first Jack Colby, car detective, can’t believe his luck when he is called in to investigate the disappearance of Bill Wade’s rare 1935 Auburn speedster, but he soon realises that this is no straightforward theft - there is much more at stake.… Despite his instant attraction to the charismatic lead of Dark Harvest, Louise Shaw, Jack senses that cast and crew are at odds with each other - and especially with the director’s wife, Angie. Jack’s warning light begins to flash about his assignment - and rightly so, because the stage is set for murder.…
Would you try another book from Amy Myers and/or Andrew Wincott?
No thanks. The plot is very convoluted and there are too many characters that lead nowhere. The villians are highly unlikely and come from nowhere. I found the protagonist, Jack Colby, weird, an oil field worker, garage owner, working for nothing and alternatively macho and then Mr. Sensitivity, full of self-doubt and adolescent in his newfound love. The premise that the police cannot and/or will not do the detecting and they have to hire for no pay Mr. Jack is weird. And, let's be gentle here, he has a very undeveloped sense of the obvious. His triumphs are not much. A good thriller hardly has the police abdicating a murder investigation to a mechanic with no detecting skills. His approach is to just toddle around and then be served up the outcome independent of his efforts.
The dialogue has a fair amount of UK forms of speech that you need to sort through.
In fairness the book has some interesting asides about some rather obscure classic cars. The characters had lots of overlays that led nowhere. I like a thriller/mystery that as you read it you get meaningful information that even nominally leads to a conclusion. A most unlikely pair take the fall in this novel. Both accomplish some very complex tasks in a highly unlikely manner for some very thin reasons. Since the author sheds doubt and potential criminality on all of the characters it gets tiresome to deal with otherwise uninteresting and empty characters that parade throughout the storyline.
A final comment is that the dialogue of our middle-aged car detective is somewhat to totally feminine. The author seems to think that men validate their masculinity by nonsensical shouting and idle demands. Jack Colby is afraid to ask his love interest for a date; so we are talking about that kind of a book.
How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?
A tight plot and connection between the auto crimes and the murders in the movie set. Both were parallel and not much connected.
What about Andrew Wincott’s performance did you like?
Excellent English voice. He covered the characters well. His accent is a little thick to an American's ear. This is hardly an Oxford accent.
Do you think Classic Calls the Shots needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?
No. The characters were pretty much exhausted as I saw them.
Any additional comments?
Save your money and buy any of the thousands of incredible thrillers on Audible. I feel cheated that this was a promoted item. There are so many excellent books and not enough time to hear them. This was a book that I just plowed through as I hate not to finish. I was hopeful that something would come together in the end. I leave it to you whether or not it happened.
Any additional comments?
not only is jack Colby looking for a stolen car but a murder too.
enjoyed the story and the piece at the end about the cars in this story and classic in the barn.
enjoyed marsh and daughter mysteries by amy myers more than this one but its early days yet.
classic in the clouds is the next one in the series I will be listening to.