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The Baffled Beatlemaniac Caper (2nd rev. ed.)

By Sally Carpenter


Book 1 in the Sandy Fairfax Teen Idol mystery series.
Beatlemaniac is back and better than ever in this revised second edition (a clean read). Former teen idol Sandy Fairfax finds that making a comeback can be murder! It's been 14 years since the pop star broke little girls' hearts on the 1970s TV show "Buddy Brave, Boy Sleuth." But now the nowhere man can't land a gig anywhere except at a disorganized Beatles fan convention in the Midwest. What looks like an easy gig turns deadly when a member of the Mercy Marvels tribute band is shot and the police finger Sandy as the prime suspect. The schoolboy shamus is back in action to find the culprit. All he's got to do is keep up his sobriety, make amends with his person demons and get back past the fawning fans, shady vendors and a John Lennon wannabe who just won't let it be. Help! It's all too much for our hero, who tackles the case with a little help from his new friends. The first edition of the book was a 2012 Eureka! Award finalist for best first mystery novel.

Book Takeaway:

No matter how much a person is down and out, it's never too late to start to rebuild and mend broken relationships.


Year Title Description
2012 Eureka! Award for best first mystery novel annual award from Left Coast Crime mystery convention

Why the author wrote this book:

In the late 1990s I started watching reruns of The Monkees on cable Tv and got hooked as a fan. I became interested in the teen idol genre: how these young men drew such devotion from their fans and how the business exploited them. I was in a college playwriting class at the time. For a class assignment I wrote a one-act play about an aging teen idol meeting one of his grown-up fans. The pay was a finalist in a regional college playwriting competition. One of the judges said, "I see a bigger story with these two characters." A few years later I attended a panel discussion of mystery authors and decided the teen idol character from my play would make a great amateur sleuth. I'm a big Beatles fan and have attended several fan conventions, so this seems like an ideal place for my sleuth to make his debut. All teen idols fall into a period of obscurity after their peak, then make a comeback in their late 30s and early 40s. I explore this trajectory with my character and how he starts to rebuilt his broken life.


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