cover image To Funk and Die in L.A.: A D Hunter Mystery

To Funk and Die in L.A.: A D Hunter Mystery

Nelson George. Akashic, $15.95 trade paper (280p) ISBN 978-1-61775-586-6

Having covered rhythm and blues in 2015’s The Lost Treasures of R&B, George explores funk in his fine fourth novel featuring D Hunter, New York bodyguard and, by virtue of his jobs and interests, music historian. When D’s 72-year-old grandfather, semiretired grocery store owner Daniel “Big Danny” Hunter, is shot dead while waiting in his car at a Los Angeles intersection, D flies to California for the funeral. On the plane, D listens to funk music by the likes of Kool and the Gang, Chaka Khan, Sly & the Family Stone, and Dr. Funk. Once in L.A., D learns some surprising things about his grandfather. Det. Israel Gonzales informs D that Big Danny was in fact a loan shark; D’s aunt tells him that his grandfather was great friends with reclusive Dr. Funk, who appears at the funeral. D’s efforts to make sense of Big Danny’s murder get caught up in the mystery behind Dr. Funk and his music. As usual, George writes with knowledge and passion about the evolution of black music. (Sept.)