Music a Cut Above
I’ve lost track how many times a day people ask me about my name. It usually goes something like this: “You change your name when you got your barber stripes? Ha, ha, ha,” or “Your folks destined you for this job, didn’t they? Ha, ha, ha.” Like I hadn’t heard it all before.
I laugh and pretend it’s the first time. Because for them, it is. And for me, well, that’s the price of an aptonym, a name that suits my job—or a job that suits my name.
I took over the Jewel Bay Barber Shop when I was a kid, after my dad had a heart attack and had to retire, and I was a married-to-young man with a kid of my own on the way. It suits me, it really does. I enjoy helping people feel better, and figure out how they want to look. How they want to present themselves to the world. I swing that barber’s apron over them and bend my ear, and let them rip.
But what I really love is making music. Even if I hadn’t become a father at eighteen, I probably wouldn’t have made it in the big, wide world of music—too cut-throat for a small-town guy like me. When I see the pros, like Gerry Martin and Jackson Mississippi Boyd, I can’t help but think about what they’ve given up to get where they are. ’Course, you don’t have to be a son-of-a-gun to succeed, thank goodness, as one of them proves. The other, well, the less said about that, the better.
Me, I’m as happy behind my barber chair as I am on stage. And that’s saying quite a lot.
The annual Jewel Bay Jazz Festival is about to start. Come on out and take a listen. You’ll be glad you did.
Erin Murphy, manager of Murphy’s Mercantile (aka the Merc), is tuning up for Jewel Bay’s annual Jazz Festival. Between keeping the Merc’s shelves stocked with Montana’s tastiest local fare and hosting the festival’s kick-off concert, Erin has her hands full.
Discord erupts when jazz guitarist Gerry Martin is found dead on the rocks above the Jewel River. The one-time international sensation had fallen out of sync with festival organizers, students, and performers. Was his death an accident?or did someone even the score?
Despite the warning signs to not get involved, Erin investigates. And when the killer attacks, she orchestrates her efforts into one last crescendo, hoping to avoid a deadly finale.
Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. The past president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat, an avid bird-watcher.
Swing by my website and join the mailing list for my seasonal newsletter. And join me on Facebook where I announce lots of giveaways from my cozy writer friends.