A twenty year veteran journalist from the Boston Herald, Beverly Ford, who spent most of her career on the Crime Beat, just posted a review of Rock & Roll Rip-Off on 1/30/13. Here it is:
No one can combine rock music, character development and good old-fashioned mystery quite like RJ McDonnell. In his second mystery novel, McDonnell moves closer to big time success with yet another well-crafted story filled with a crazy cast of funny and interesting characters — most of whom play sidekick to his detective hero, Jason Duffy.
Set amid San Diego’s vibrant music scene, “Rock & Roll Rip-Off” may focus on the theft of a music memorabilia collection but this story isn’t just your regular “who-dunnit.” McDonnell peppers his chapters with enough information to make readers feel like music industry insiders. Add the author’s sharp sense of humor, a maze of unexpected plot twists and a dash of mystery and McDonnell has yet another winner on his hands.
I read McDonnell’s first book “Rock And Roll Homicide” when it came out and immediately fell in love with his characters — the affable detective, Jason Duffy, his long-time girlfriend, Kelly, Jason’s gruff, ex-cop father and employees who suffer from Tourette’s Syndrome and obsessive compulsive disorder. I was glad to see them all reappear again in his second novel — which I read in one full swoop on a cross-country flight, unable to put it down. I just couldn’t get enough of “Rip-Off” or the funny, charming, amazing and amusing way McDonnell walks his characters through a captivating and suspenseful plot.
With all that going for him, like another reviewer I have to wonder, why this guy isn’t a household name? His characters, writing and humor are enough to put McDonnell right up there with Spenser creator Robert Parker. Hopefully, we’ll be seeing more of McDonnell’s quick wit and fine writing … and all those crazy characters too.