A gloomy Irish town.
A down on her luck violinist.
A decades old murder mystery.
A career making performance.
^^^ That right there are all the ingredients you need for a COZY MYSTERY. MURDER IN G MAJOR is the perfect blend of music meets murder. We meet Gethsemane, a down on her luck violinist, who's relocated to an obscure Irish town to whip a local boarding school's orchestra into championship shape. Then we discover our protagonist (who, as cozy mysteries often demand, lives in a cottage by the sea) can see ghosts...or at least the one in her house. Now this is where the heart of the story comes in -- this ghost Gethsemane can see? Well he was accused of killing his wife and committing suicide 25 years ago...but he insists that he's innocent. Cue Gethsemane, who acts as novice investigator extraordinaire to figure out what really happened, on behalf of her new incorporeal friend.
Let's talk the star of the book, Gethsemane. First off, her name screams main character energy and is 100% suited to our heroine. Gethsemane is full of snark, determination, questionable loyalties to Irish ghosts, a genius talent for music...essentially, you'll fall in love with her as she blunders and hunts her way towards the killer's identity. Even though Gethsmane's clearly a duck out of water, she uses the strengths she has to make friends who help her along the way (mostly handsome Irish men) and enemies (less handsome Irish men and temperamental women) who work to block her investigation. What I loved about Gethsmane, is even though she clearly doesn't fit in, that doesn't stop her from trying to become a part of the community she's in. Gordon does a wonderful job of bringing not only Gethsmane to life, but the entire cast that fills the Irish town the book's set in. Like all small towns, the people of this one cling HARD to their secrets and as Gethsemane gets closer to the killer's identity, it's fun to see what hidden secrets and long-time family feuds she uncovers (and meet the quirky cast of characters as Gethsemane does).
IRISH COUNTRYSIDE. Every novel should be set in a small Irish town perched by the sea. MURDER IN G MAJOR oozes with atmospheric melancholy. Gordon seeds a gorgeous gloom into the book by crafting the setting as character. Ireland has a life and a personality of its own in this book and one the reader gets to learn about alongside Gethsemane, resident outsider. This is a book I really wish I could step into for a day -- Gordon does such a scrumptious job of describing Gethsemane's cottage, I've been dreaming about ditching the city for the countryside and living my cottage-core dreams. Alas.
Now, I don't do spoilers in this book review blog, so I'm not spoiling the 'whodunit', but what I WILL say is that Gordon does a splendid job of keeping you on your toes as Gethsemane gets to the bottom of things. I mean, I was holding my breath for the woman because as with all first time detectives, she's makes mistakes as she tries to figure out who the murderer(s) may be. MURDER IN G MAJOR is a charmer through and through -- and one that will leave you wanting more.