Sam McCain Mysteries

10 books in series
4 out of 5 stars 62 ratings

The Day the Music Died Publisher's Summary

In 1950s Iowa, a murder-suicide forces a lawyer to put aside his rock-and-roll grief.

Sam McCain loves Buddy Holly, because he's the only rock-and-roll star who still seems like a dweeb, and Sam knows how that feels. With the unrequited love of his life at his side, Sam drives more than three hours through the snow to watch his idol play the Surf Ballroom. That night, Buddy Holly dies in the most famous plane crash in music history, but Sam has no time to grieve. Because there are too many lawyers in this small town, Sam makes a living as a PI, doing odd jobs for an eccentric judge - whose nephew, it seems, has a problem only a detective could solve. His trophy wife has been murdered, and as soon as Sam arrives, the nephew kills himself, too.

The police see this as a clear-cut murder-suicide, but Sam wants to know more, diving into a mystery that will get dangerous faster than you can say "bye-bye, Miss American Pie".

©1999 Ed Gorman (P)2014 Audible Inc.
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  • Book 1

    • The Day the Music Died

    • By: Ed Gorman
    • Narrated by: Bronson Pinchot
    • Length: 6 hrs and 50 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      3.5 out of 5 stars 18
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 17
    • Story
      3.5 out of 5 stars 16

    In 1950s Iowa, a murder-suicide forces a lawyer to put aside his rock-and-roll grief.

    Sam McCain loves Buddy Holly, because he's the only rock-and-roll star who still seems like a dweeb, and Sam knows how that feels. With the unrequited love of his life at his side, Sam drives more than three hours through the snow to watch his idol play the Surf Ballroom. That night, Buddy Holly dies in the most famous plane crash in music history, but Sam has no time to grieve....

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • Comfortable, well-crafted cozy

    • By connie on 10-03-14

    Regular price: $19.95

  • Book 2

    • Wake Up Little Susie

    • By: Ed Gorman
    • Narrated by: Bronson Pinchot
    • Length: 6 hrs and 49 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      3.5 out of 5 stars 9
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 9
    • Story
      3.5 out of 5 stars 9

    In 1958 Ford introduced the Edsel to America. In the Black River Falls, Iowa, the dead body of a 19-year-old girl in the trunk of a brand new Edsel upstages the ill-fated car. Sam McCain makes some troubling discoveries as he tracks down the murderer.

    • 3 out of 5 stars
    • Overall a Pretty Good Book

    • By Angela Spencer-mukes on 09-08-16

    Regular price: $19.95

  • Book 3

    • Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow

    • By: Ed Gorman
    • Narrated by: Bronson Pinchot
    • Length: 5 hrs and 40 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      3.5 out of 5 stars 3
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 3
    • Story
      3.5 out of 5 stars 3

    The citizens of Black River Falls are polite, understanding, and respectful - except when it comes to communism. Joe McCarthy has been dead for two years, but men like Richard Conners are still fighting to clear themselves of his accusations. A liberal who served faithfully under Roosevelt and Truman, only to be slandered as a red during McCarthy’s witch hunts, Conners has begun getting death threats written in blood. He hires private investigator Sam McCain to protect him, but no sooner has Sam taken the case than Conners turns up dead.

    Regular price: $19.95

  • Book 4

    • Save the Last Dance for Me

    • By: Ed Gorman
    • Narrated by: Bronson Pinchot
    • Length: 6 hrs and 19 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 4
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 4
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 4

    Fundamentalist preacher John Muldaur isn’t afraid of snakes - he uses them every week in his services - but he’s convinced that the Pope is trying to kill him. Iowa lawyer Sam McCain, the poorest attorney in a thriving town, listens patiently to the self-declared reverend’s outlandish theories about being targeted by a papal hit squad, and agrees to investigate the matter simply to get Muldaur out of his office. But that night at a wild religious service, McCain sees Muldaur proven right.

    Regular price: $19.95

  • Book 5

    • Everybody's Somebody's Fool

    • By: Ed Gorman
    • Narrated by: Bronson Pinchot
    • Length: 6 hrs and 18 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 5
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 5
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 5

    Small-town lawyer and private detective Sam McCain is enjoying a cocktail party, dancing with a lovelier specimen than his five-foot-five-inch frame usually attracts, when the hostess confronts him with a problem the likes of which Good Housekeeping has never seen. There is a corpse in the backyard gazebo, and the party is definitely over.

    Regular price: $19.95

  • Book 6

    • Breaking Up Is Hard to Do

    • By: Ed Gorman
    • Narrated by: Bronson Pinchot
    • Length: 5 hrs and 23 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 4
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 4
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 4

    Black River Falls used to be a boring small town, but at the pinnacle of the Cuban Missile Crisis, nowhere in America can be boring anymore. As the country awaits nuclear annihilation, Iowa gubernatorial favorite Ross Murdoch has a crisis of his own: There is a dead woman in his bomb shelter. Murdoch tells his lawyer, Sam McCain, that the corpse was planted there by his enemies in the local police force, and begs McCain to clear his name before Election Day.

    Regular price: $19.95

  • Book 7

    • Fools Rush In

    • Sam McCain, Book 7
    • By: Ed Gorman
    • Narrated by: Allan Robertson
    • Length: 5 hrs and 58 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 4
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 4
    • Story
      3.5 out of 5 stars 4

    In America's heartland, Sam seeks justice for a black college student who's found dead in a car trunk at the drive-in, while thousands gather in the nation's capital for the March on Washington with civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.

    Regular price: $19.95

  • Book 8

    • Ticket to Ride

    • A Sam McCain Mystery, Book 8
    • By: Ed Gorman
    • Narrated by: John McLain
    • Length: 6 hrs and 36 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      3.5 out of 5 stars 6
    • Performance
      3.5 out of 5 stars 6
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 6

    For small-town, Iowa lawyer, Sam McCain, the year 1965 is not a sweet one. His father is gravely ill. His elitist boss is just coming out of rehab. And, the brilliant lawyer he hoped to start a relationship with has gone back to her husband. Still, McCain tries to enjoy himself during the town's Labor Day weekend party, reuniting with several old friends - until two of them are murdered for what seems to be a motive buried in the past...

    • 3 out of 5 stars
    • John McLain is no Bronson Pinchot!

    • By Catherine on 12-27-15

    Regular price: $19.95

  • Book 9

    • Bad Moon Rising

    • A Sam McCain Mystery, Book 10
    • By: Ed Gorman
    • Narrated by: Joe Barrett
    • Length: 6 hrs and 10 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      3.5 out of 5 stars 7
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 5
    • Story
      3.5 out of 5 stars 5

    A hippie commune has invaded Black River Falls. While the majority of the townspeople believe that the bohemians have the right to stay - despite how bizarre some of their ways can seem - as always, there is a minority that constantly accuses them of everything from criminal activities to Satanism. As usual, lawyer and private investigator Sam McCain finds himself in the middle of the controversy, especially when the teenage daughter of Paul Mainwaring, is found murdered in the commune’s barn.

    Regular price: $13.96

  • Book 10

    • Riders on the Storm

    • Sam McCain, Book 10
    • By: Ed Gorman
    • Narrated by: Joe Barrett
    • Length: 5 hrs and 15 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 2
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 2
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 2

    Sam has now returned to his hometown of Black River Falls, where he works as a lawyer and part-time investigator for the court of the snobbish but amusing Judge Esme Whitney. Two of Sam's oldest friends are caught up in the same battle. Veteran Steve Donovan brutally belittles and finally savagely beats his old friend, veteran Will Cullen, when Cullen announces he‘s joined the anti-war group. When Cullen is found murdered, the obvious suspect is Steve Donovan, but Sam has serious doubts about the man's guilt.

    Regular price: $20.97