ISBN #: 9781635110579
$15.95; $2.99 Amazon
September 13, 2016
With few other options, African-American classical musician Gethsemane Brown accepts a less-than-ideal position turning a group of rowdy schoolboys into an award-winning orchestra. Stranded without luggage or money in the Irish countryside, she figures any job is better than none. The perk: Housesitting a lovely cliffside cottage. The catch? The ghost of the cottage's murdered owner haunts the place. Falsely accused of killing his wife (and himself), he begs Gethsemane to clear his name so he can rest in peace. Gethsemane's reluctant investigation provokes a dormant killer and she soon finds herself in grave danger. As Gethsemane races to prevent a deadly encore, will she uncover the truth or star in her own farewell performance?
Gethsemane Brown is a gifted musician who has recently been cheated out of a much-coveted position as an assistant conductor of a prestigious orchestra. She has also arrived in Ireland with her luggage and money stolen, having accepted a position to turn unruly schoolboys into an orchestra the school can not only be proud of, but to win a trophy the school's not had for seventy-five years.
It is at least fortunate she's allowed to live at the cottage of her late idol, Eamon McCarthy. What she doesn't count on, however, is that the late Mr. McCarthy is still living at the cottage...as a ghost. When he realizes that Gethsemane can not only see him, but hear him, he pleads with her to solve his murder. While it has been determined that he threw his wife off a cliff in a rage, and then committed suicide in remorse, Eamon vows this is not true. At first Gethsemane refuses, but it it not too long before her curiosity gets the better of her and she agrees to help him.
When she begins digging into the past she finds inconsistencies regarding the investigation into the deaths of Eamon and his beloved wife Orla. It's enough for her to try and convince the police that Eamon not only did not murder his wife, he did not commit suicide. But the officer in charge of cold cases tells her to leave it be, since there's no physical evidence to back it up. But as she keeps looking for ways to prove it was murder, it appears that there is at least one person who doesn't want her to discover it, and will go to any lengths to ensure she doesn't dig any deeper...
I enjoyed the book for the most part, with Gethsemane determined to find out the truth for Eamon as well as herself. I also liked the fact that she asked questions without being too invasive, therefore making it believable that she was only asking in the reasoning of wanting to know more about the inhabitants of her present living quarters.
However, I didn't understand why she didn't have any money. Was her purse stolen? If not, why would you put money in your luggage, or even your carry on? This doesn't scream "intelligent woman" to me. The other things that bothered me about Gethsemane was the fact that she is written as strong, determined, self-willed, smart, brave, quick-witted, etc. In other words, a Paragon Among Women. She has a brilliant family (how many entire families do you know that are overachievers?) She has no problem going where she isn't supposed to, and without fear. She faces down people who wish to do her harm, without being nervous about the encounter. I would think at least in a couple of situations there would have been trepidation or nervousness, but I saw none of that. It made her appear almost robotic. Having a strong female character is great, but not if it seems as if she's stepped out of a scientist's lab.
I did feel that there should have been more descriptions of the characters, as I didn't feel that I got to know any of them very well. But since this is the author's first book, I am hoping that we'll learn more as the series progresses.
Aside from this, I felt it was an interesting twist regarding the murderer (for we know there is one), and it all came together quite well. I felt that the writing was sharp and the plot one that has a very interesting premise. This, my friends, is a book you can sit down, get a cup of coffee or tea, and contentedly read into the night. Recommended.