Vegas Blues – Interview with Kerry Rose

Author Kerry Rose is interviewed about his new book, “Vegas Blues”

It’s great to sit down with you again.  I haven’t yet read your new book, but tell us what is new with Lenny and Kate.

Well, as you can tell from the title, Lenny and Kate have moved to Las Vegas (laughs) Lenny and Kate are now working in a brand new casino called the Speakeasy Hotel and Casino. And, as has happened in the past, Lenny gets dragged into a mystery as he tries to help an old friend.

I assume he’s playing with his band, the Blues Revue?

Yes, but there is a bit of a twist.  His old rock band, White Horse has reformed to play a long term gig at the hotel. So Lenny plays with the Blues Revue during the week, but with White Horse on the weekends.

That’s interesting.  You haven’t really explored the White Horse connection all that much in all your books other than the fact that it’s part of Lenny’s history.

True.  And we go into it a little more here – introducing the entire band, and we spend some time on the lead singer, Denny Sweaton.  But I don’t spend a lot of time reviewing the history of the band.  They don’t sit around swapping “war” stories.  But I do try to give the readers a glimpse into Denny’s life.  It’s not a particularly flattering picture.

What made you decide to re-introduce White Horse into Lenny and Kate life?

Well, I needed a plot (laughs).  But it seems like a realistic opportunity.  If you look at Vegas entertainment today, there are lots of artists who are now doing resident bookings – people like Celine Dion, Elton John, Britany Spears, and others.  Not a lot of rockers, but Santana did a couple of months.  And I think the time is ripe for a real rock band to set up camp.  Baby boomers are now a major Vegas demographic, and they would love to see the bands they grew up with.  So, I definitely can see it happening.  They’re not really about Wayne Newton…not that there is anything wrong with Wayne Newton.  Anyway – I think more rock music will be coming to Vegas.

So, tell us what happens?

Well, in a nutshell, Denny – the lead singer – ends up dead in the bed of Kike Osbourne…

Wait – Kike Osborne from the first book?

Yes – Kike is the new Entertainment Director at the Speakeasy, and she convinced the hotel to book White Horse into the property.  She’s the reason the band re-formed.  The money was really good, which especially benefits the other band members.  But, of course there was also a place at the hotel for the Blues Revue and a job for Kate.  So it was all good.

I don’t want you to give away too much – but what happens next?

Well, the police arrest Kike for the murder, but she claims she didn’t do it.  And – of course – Lenny comes to her rescue.

Let me guess – Timbo Jackson is still there to help with the investigation?

(Laughs).  But of course.  Timbo is more involved than ever.  And Buddha also makes a return.  There are some crazy twists, but it was a blast to write.

What’s the inspiration for Timbo?

I’ve been involved with lots of musicians through the years, and I get some of him from those interactions.  But I really wanted a fun-loving sidekick with a heart of gold.  I also wanted him to provide humor for the books.  So, he’s not any one person, but I can pull him up in my imagination and after three books, I just have a sense of how he will react to a situation.

How do you come up with your plots?

There is no one way that it happens.  Scottsdale Blues was a completely fabricated story.  Penasco Blues was partially about a real event that happened, although I changed it considerably.  Vegas Blues is also fabricated, but I was intrigued that when Michael Jackson died how his celebrity and music just re-exploded.  So, that was part of what I used for this book.

Are Lenny and Kate’s Christian values evident in this book?

Yes, at this point it is a core part of their characters.  There is actually a scene at the Church they are attending.

Murder mysteries generally don’t have a Christian undercurrent.  Usually the key characters are very rough and tumble kind of people.

Well, the one criticism of my books has been too much sex or bad language (laughs), so I don’t think people should expect a whitewashed story.  But, I feel like Christians can be “real”.  My wife and I are church going Christians, but we enjoy having a good time, and our language is far from perfect.  But, like Lenny, I make it a point not to take the Lord’s name in vain.

So, is there more in the future for Lenny and Kate?

Yes – Lenny and Kate take a gig on a cruise ship that is going around the world.  Of course, it’ll be called Cruisin’ Blues.  And this time the mystery could have international implications.  I can’t wait to tell you that story!

Categories: Vegas Blues

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