The vinyl detective isn't made of vinyl. He's a picker, going to thrift stores and boot sales (the setting is England) and anywhere else that he might get lucky enough to find an LP that he can resell for big bucks. One day a lovely young woman shows up at his door and asks him to help her find an American jazz LP that just might be the rarest in the world. She's working for a mysterious employer who's offering an amazing sum for the finder.
If this sounds straightforward enough, rest assured that it's not. Other people are looking for the LP, too, and they aren't nice. People start to die.
So who wants this LP? And why? It's complicated, and it gets even more complicated as we go along. Our narrator gets involved with not one but two lovely women, faces death, and . . . there are cats.
There are bits of this you may not buy completely, and you're probably going to be a little frustrated at the inability of the characters to figure out a really simple word puzzle, but Cartmel has a breezy style and plenty of humor, not to mention many details about recordings that I find fascinating. I enjoyed this one, and I'm looking forward to the promised sequel.