The Liz Hanlon Suspense Novels
with original Music
---High stakes dramas with original music written by
Liz and the characters . . .
Read the book, then hear the music on each book's Soundtrack!
High Notes Are Murder & Harmonic Deception
AVAILABLE BELOW with their own Soundtracks
BOOK 3 COMING SOON!
High Notes Are Murder
Chase your dreams . . .
Singer-songwriter Liz Hanlon is relentless in her quest for a music career. When she’s finally offered a chance for international fame through live TV concerts, she believes her troubles are over. She couldn’t be more wrong. Hours before the broadcast, in dingy half-light, she stumbles over the body of her young cousin at the foot of the stage.
For the last week, Liz has received an eerie card every day, each one punctuated by a higher threat level than the previous. The murder has put her career on hold, and she draws upon her tenacity and cunning to identify the killer. She connects him to a mob rip-off twenty years ago, but that revelation creates a bigger problem: naming the killer will also incriminate her uncle in the same scandal, ruining her family name and ending her career before it's even begun.
The High Notes Are Murder Soundtrack
with any purchase!
Kudos for High Notes Are Murder. . .
“Barbara Reed delivers a double treat with High Notes Are Murder and its companion CD: a fine mystery and musical accompaniment to die for. Heroine Liz Hanlon is smart, big-hearted and talented—an up-and coming jazz singer, pianist and composer whose career looks bright until a scandal from the past threatens to destroy her and anyone else who stands too close. Reed provides a witty, fascinating insider’s look at an LA music scene that is weirder and scarier than most fans will ever know.
--Taylor Smith, author of The Innocents Club & Guilt By Silence“
Barbara Reed’s High Notes Are Murder features a heroine as smart and likable as any in crime fiction today.
Singer Liz Hanlon’s voice remains strong and pure throughout this refreshing debut novel.”
--Martin J. Smith, author of Time Release, Shadow Image, and Straw Men
“ . . . high stakes dealings . . . the story opens a window into both the heart of a dreamer and the mind of a murderer.”
--Billie Raven, author A Most Personal Look, Markham Publishing
The Liz Hanlon Series ---
Liz Hanlon approaches her music with the passion of a climber scaling a mountain. She’s poured herself into writing, performing, never compromising her dream. One critic called her voice “alluring and powerful,” adding, “she's more than the one to watch, she’s the only one to watch.” Still, it was ten years of piano dumps before she's offered a chance for international fame--and that comes with a price tag that threatens to ruin her family's reputation, and stop her career before it's barely begun.
Six months later, still reeling from her family tragedy, another opportunity arrives that could change everything. Every bigwig from Ardor Records is in the audience tonight. Finally, a chance for a recording contract. She’s pumped and ready. But as critics sip champagne with raised pinkies, a brutal female gang member with an AK-47 bursts in flanked by two armed sidekicks. They begin robbing the two hundred patrons of their valuables, but within minutes their real purpose is clear: their real target is Liz.
Read Chapter One
After years of striving, singer-songwriter Liz Hanlon’s whole future comes down to one thing: tonight’s performance. It’s her first CD release party, and every bigwig in the business will be there . . . along with two brutal female gang members, one armed with an AK-47 and an insatiable hatred for Liz. The shooter takes command while her sidekick begins robbing patrons. In minutes, the room is chaos and gunshots. Liz's agent is dead, a renowned composer near death, and Liz is fighing for a way out. She wrestles with the shooter, quickly discovering that the robbery is a ruse. This crime is personal and she is the target.
Read Chapter One
The Harmonic Deception
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"The Perfect Book Club Book"
I had the pleasure of meeting Barbara Reed this year. She is a talented and classy lady. Much like her character Liz Hanlon. Two of my passions are Jazz music and reading. Barbara brings both of those passions to life. She is a great musician and author.
Harmonic Deception has a dramatic opening in chapter one and keeps that exciting pace throughout the book. Once you are drawn into the drama, you do not want to put the book down.
Harmonic Deception is the "Perfect Book Club Book". We played Barbara's CD " High Notes" as we discussed the dramatic attack at the nightclub and the brave Liz Hanlon. Hearing Barbara singing during the meeting was almost like she was with us. And by the way, the music is as good as book.
Can' wait for the next one!!!
About the Author
It all started with music for me. After more than twenty years of singing and playing music by the creative giants of several decades, I began writing my own songs. Most songs tell a story, so it wasn't long before I got the idea to write realistic stories about a world that's often misunderstood--today's music business. What better place to find mysterious and suspenseful stories?
Today's journeyman musicians have to be savvy and hardworking to survive. They're passionate and ambitious. Singer-songwriter Liz Hanlon takes readers inside their lives, and offers a closeup of the actual songwriting process, as well as the lives of passionate musicians.
ALL ABOUT JAZZ
Nicholas F. Mondello
August 29, 2019
Musicians who are also authors tend to be relatively common -it's those Muse juices, you know. Mary Higgins Clark would title her books with the names of well-known popular songs. Popster parrotter Jimmy Buffett and even Madonna have penned. Barbara Reed, however, does it all: she's an outstanding vocalist/pianist/composer/lyricist—and a celebrated author whose work on all embraces song.
The LA-based Reed has been a fixture on the So Cal music scene for years. She's a solid, musically-grounded artist who can deftly shape-shift across genres—and she does just that superbly here. Reed's On Stageoffers a baker's dozen tracks, a varied bunch of material incorporating Reed originals, a GASser and a few pop classics—all recorded either in studio or live.
The album kicks off with a hip Reed original, "The Tear Returns to Me," an Al Jarreau-like groover that sets the upbeat tone for the date. Reed digs swingingly into the GAS with "The Way You Look Tonight" (with a tasty Sam Riney sax solo) and also into pop dusties -a straight-up version of Teddy Edwards,' "It's All in the Game" and Bobby Darin's signature hit, "Beyond the Sea." All are delivered impeccably and with respect for melody and line. Vocally, Reed's bright soprano voice is inviting and her technical chops there and on the keys are gymnast-like. Her dynamic control and phrasing are Aces.
There's a lovely intimacy in her interpretation of a line. Her genre versatility is on also display with her original "Right Here All the Time" and the Trisha Yearwood 90s' cross-over award-winner, "The Song Remembers When." Her take on Benny Goodman/Peggy Lee and Roger Rabbit's well-known "Why Don't You Do Right" is, to Reed's credit, fun and not goofily camped up.
As a composer, Reed has got to be L.A.'s biggest secret. Her writing and lyricist ability—remember, she's also a celebrated novelist—are versatile and her word choice is always right on. The "Child in You" and "It's a Kid's World" have that special ear-and heart-grab texture that you'd swear that they were in a flick from the Mouse House. The darker "She Saw You Comin'" lets Reed soul it up blue. The closer "But It's His Eyes" is a "killer," sending us off poetically into the Hollywood noir.
The groups behind Reed are L.A.-1 with terrific taste and support. They each frame Reed superbly offering tasteful back-up without stepping on musical toes.
While there are obviously no intentions to break envelopes or redefine things with On Stage, it's a most entertaining near-hour of great music and word delivered by a very talented artist—one certainly worthy of much wider recognition. On Stage is in deed the word.
Personnel: Barbara Reed: vocals, piano, keyboards; Llew Matthews: piano, keyboards; bass: Max Bennett, Tom Gargano, Mark Tavarez, Eddie Young; drums: Randy White, Jeff Fish.
Track Listing: The Tear Returns to Me; The Way You look Tonight; It's All in the Game; You Can Take It All back; The Child in You; Right Here All the Time; The Song Remembers When; Beyond the Sea; It's a Kid's World; Why Don't You Do right; Remember Me; She Saw You Comin'; But It's His Eyes
Title: On Stage Year Released: 2018