Thursday, April 5, 2018

Killing in C Sharp by Alexia Gordon

First Sentence:  Gethsemane Brown frowned at her landlord across her kitchen table.
Violinist, conductor, and music conductor Gethsemane Brown has saved her cottage from developers, but now her landlord has now granted permission for a team of ghost hunters to investigate for the all-too-present spirit of composer Eamon McCarthy.  To deflect the investigators, she points them to the opera house where composer Aed Devlin plans to premiere his work about Maja Zoltán who died placing a curse to occur each year on the anniversary of her death. With the smell of grease and pepper and excerpts of Tchaikovsky’s “Pathétique” in her head, Gethsemane and her friends have to get rid of the specter of Maja, prevent Eamon from being exposed, save lives, and find the killer of a crooked journalist.
The important thing when reading Gordon is to just go with the premise, which is delightful and not at all twee.  The other thing is what a good job Gordon does of providing all the backstory.  It catches up both those who’ve read previous books, and new readers so there’s never a feeling of having missed something, but neither does it slow down the plot.
Gordon’s characters are all fully-developed and very interesting.  Gethsemane, with her love of good whiskey, is no mild-mannered Miss Marple.  In fact, she describes herself as being—“Competent, confident, intelligent, and driven, but not ‘nice.’  She is the type of person with whom one would like to be friends.  Father Tom with his older brother’s collection of books on the occult, Neill of the Gardaí, Saoirse the 12-year-old genius, and more are all interesting and very real.
The subject of reviews for pay; i.e., when a reviewer offers to write a positive review in exchange for money and is different from being a publication- or syndication-paid reviewer, is an interesting one.  It is a path down which no reputable or ethical reviewer would tread.
There are a number of laugh-out-loud moments which provide lightness.  One will also enjoy the reference to—“You’re both grown and neither of you are related to me, so it’s none of my business.”  Southern code for “but if you want to talk about it…”.  The paranormal elements of the story are very intriguing and well done.  Not all authors use the paranormal well.  Gordon really does.
It is quite remarkable the way in which Gordon creates a rather illogical scenario and not only makes it both logical and believable but makes one care.  There is also a very nice plot twist which is well done.   
Killing in C Sharp” is a wonderful traditional/paranormal mystery.  In fact, this is the best book in the series, so far.
KILLING IN C SHARP (Trad Mys-Gethsemane Brown-Ireland-Contemporary) - Ex    
      Gordon, Alexia – 3rd in series
      The Henery Press – March 2018

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