***This book was reviewed for the San Francisco Book Review
Klingler’s Tune Up: Secret of Mylin is an intense mystery set in modern day California and Nevada. It begins with a questionable traffic accident that proves to be less an accident than premeditation upon closer inspection. An elderly Chinese woman is struck by a motorcycle while going over a crosswalk. Homicide detectives Qigiq and Kandy are assigned to the case, though the victim still lives. Their search for the hit and run motorcyclist leads them to the Ton Up Club, where they put in play an elaborate plan to get in good with the bikers, and to hopefully find bikers matching the sparse description. Their inquiries stir up a buzz. Languishing in this case, they are assigned to find a missing person, one Rudy Spooner. A series of pics and video sent to the police find the missing Spooner, as his car goes over a cliff along the infamous Devil’s Slide. A second victim of that plunge ties their two cases together. Unfortunately, that leaves far more questions than answers. Who is Pé and how is she connected to Mrs Chong, the hit-and-run victim? How does Spooner tie into things?
A second storyline plays out between photographer Joe Roberts and violist Mylin. Months before, he had snapped Mylin’s picture unbeknownst to her, while outside a concert. She comes into his booth at an art show in California, several states from Ann Arbor Michigan, where the picture had been taken. Joe learns she is with the GO Orchestra, musicians for hire. In a bid to see her again, he books a night with a violist through the orchestra, requesting Mylin.
After dinner, she gets him to go with her to a charity auction performance, where he gets the beginnings of an idea about just what kind of business this orchestra really runs. Mylin then asks Jo to take her to San Francisco, where her grandmother is hospitalised. As Pé is found, and Mylin comes to visit Mrs Chong, the two storylines are woven tighter and tighter together. What is GO’s secret? Why was Mrs Chong struck by a motorcycle on purpose? Will Joe be able to help Mylin in the way he wants to be able to?
I absolutely devoured this book! Klingler takes a unique tact, writing all of Joe’s sections in first person, and all the rest in third person. This created a unique dynamic, affecting how I felt towards certain characters. I enjoyed both storylines, finding Qigiq and Kandy’s humour and working relationship to be quite amusing, while finding Mylin and Joe to be rather endearing. Joe really wants to protect this girl he’s only just met. And I loved Ferd! He is a lab rat, with the same wry humour as Qigiq and Kandy. This is the second book in this set, and I went and snagged the first Qigiq and Kandy novel. Looking forward to it!!
Another aspect of the story that I loved was that it is set very near my home. I pass the now closed Devil’s Slide, into Pacifica every day. The Slide was replaced by tunnels through Montara Mountain for safety, as cars were prone to go over the cliff in that dangerous area. They still occasionally do go over, along parts of the road.
????? Highly recommended!