I just finished reading Blues Highway Blues by Eyre Price, which is said to be one of a series called Crossroads Thrillers. If you like either American music or crime fiction, you might like this. If you like both, your chances are pretty high.
You might want to visit Price’s site linked under his name there; it’s somewhat unique, which is getting hard to be on the Web these days. As of May 2013, his description of Blues Highway Blues is perfectly accurate; I can’t improve on it, plus it comes with the audio of one of the songs in the book. Go have a look.
So, this novel has vaguely-Elmore-Leonard-flavored (that’s a compliment) villains, violence painted in comic-book colors (meh), lots of American-heartland ambiance (good), and immense pop-music erudition (good) but with a bit of recourse to cheap mythology: Crossroads, Atibon, and so on.
Now, I enjoyed the gleeful insertion of famous rock lyrics and rock people into the narrative, but maybe not everyone would. Example: Billy Gibbons finds the murder victim at the gas station. Example: At the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Detroit, our protagonists are involved in a smash & grab on the ashes of Alan Freed for reasons which are too complex to include here; as you might expect, alarms go off and there are incoming uniformed officials. Our hero calls out “We gotta get out of this place.” Hard not to smile.
The plotting is sloppy in places, and a couple of characters who deserve better are relegated to bit parts, but hey: You get to go on a road trip around America with intensely colorful people, none of them wholly good, a few really intensely bad, and you’ll learn something about roots & rhythm along the way.
Also, on top of being pretty good, it’s pretty cheap.