“The captivating southwestern Irish countryside adds a delightful element to this paranormal series launch. Gethsemane is an appealing protagonist who is doing the best she can against overwhelming odds.” – Library Journal (starred review on Murder in G Major)
Gethsemane Brown, African-American classical musician and expatriate to an Irish village, solved a string of murders, led a school orchestra to victory in a major competition, and got used to living with a snarky ghost. She can rest easy over the Christmas holiday. Right? Wrong. The ghost has disappeared, her landlord's about to sell her cottage to a hotel developer, and her brother-in-law is coming for a visit—with one day’s notice.
She scrambles to call her spectral roomie back from beyond and find a way to save the cottage from certain destruction. But real estate takes a backseat when her brother-in-law is accused of stealing a valuable antique. Gethsemane strikes a deal with a garda investigator to go undercover as a musician at a charity ball and snoop for evidence linking antiques to a forgery/theft ring in exchange for the investigator’s help clearing her brother-in-law. At the party, she accidentally conjures the ghost of an eighteenth-century sea captain, then ends up the prime suspect in the party host’s murder. With the captain’s help, she races to untangle a web of phony art and stolen antiques to exonerate herself and her brother-in-law. Then the killer targets her. Will she save herself and bring a thief and murderer to justice, or will her encore investigation become her swan song?
“Gethsemane Brown is everything an amateur sleuth should be: smart, sassy, talented, and witty even when her back is against the wall. In her latest adventure, she's surrounded by a delightful cast, some of whom readers will remember from Gordon's award-winning debut and all of whom they won't forget. Gordon writes characters we want resurrected.” – Cate Holahan, Author of 2017 Silver Falchion Award-Nominated The Widower's Wife
“Erstwhile ghost conjurer and gifted concert violinist Gethsemane Brown returns in this thoroughly enjoyable follow-up to last year’s Murder in G Major. Facing eviction from the historic seaside cottage she calls home, Gethsemane must clear her brother-in-law’s name—as well as her own—when a priceless artifact goes missing and the wealthy dowager to whom it belonged is ‘helped’ over a high balcony railing. With the help of a spectral sea captain she accidentally summoned, Gethsemane tries to unravel the mystery as the murderer places her squarely in the crosshairs.” – Daniel J. Hale, Agatha Award-Winning Author
Related subjects include: cozy mysteries, women sleuths, murder mystery series, whodunit mysteries (whodunnit), British mysteries, book club recommendations, amateur sleuth books, paranormal mysteries, Irish cozies, ghost mysteries, music mysteries.
Books in the Gethsemane Brown Mystery Series:
MURDER IN G MAJOR (#1)
DEATH IN D MINOR (#2)
Part of the Henery Press Mystery Series Collection, if you like one, you'll probably like them all.
Author Bio: A writer since childhood, Alexia Gordon won her first writing prize in the 6th grade. She continued writing through college but put literary endeavors on hold to finish medical school and Family Medicine residency training. She established her medical career then returned to writing fiction. Raised in the southeast, schooled in the northeast, she relocated to the west where she completed Southern Methodist University's Writer's Path program. She admits Texas brisket is as good as Carolina pulled pork. She practices medicine in North Chicago, IL. She enjoys the symphony, art collecting, embroidery, and ghost stories.
Read an Excerpt
He showed up two days after Christmas.
Gethsemane Brown awoke to the crunch of tires pulling into the gravel drive of Carraigfaire Cottage, home for the past few months. She'd moved into the whitewashed thatched-roof house perched near the base of Carrick Point lighthouse after a job loss and a theft stranded her in Dunmullach, a cliffside village in southwestern Ireland. She found a new job as music director at the local boys' school. Which was closed for the Christmas holidays. Which was why she was still in bed at — she reached for the clock on her bedside table — seven thirty in the morning. A night owl since childhood, she'd chosen a career — concert musician — that allowed her to stay up late and sleep in. However, in the three months she'd been in Ireland, solving murders and preparing a school orchestra for an important competition had robbed her of the chance to sleep late.
She threw back the covers and got up, shivering as her bare feet hit the cold floor. She reached the cottage's entrance hall by the time her unexpected visitor knocked. No one she knew from the village would trek up to Carrick Point to make a wake-up call. She grabbed the shillelagh her students had given her as a Christmas present.
"Who is it?" she asked through the heavy wooden door.
"Hank Wayne," came the reply in an American-accented voice like hers. Not just like hers. Her Virginia drawl rang far more melodious than the flat tones of the man's Midwestern English. Although her loathing for the speaker may have biased her. He'd been after Carraigfaire Cottage since before their first meeting several weeks ago.
"It's early," she said to the hotel developer. "What do you want?"
"I want to come in. Billy didn't think you'd mind."
She hadn't spoken to Billy McCarthy, the cottage's owner and her landlord, since he brought Hank around to look at the cottage. He'd gone off on another business trip right after. Billy hadn't come right out and admitted it during the visit, but the men's talk made it clear he planned to sell Carraigfaire to Hank. Who'd convert this quaint postcard-perfect two-hundred-year-old cottage into one of his tacky tourist monstrosities and destroy the cultural and historical character of the area. Gethsemane knew his track record. She'd even stayed in a few of his horrid pink motels while on tour with the Cleveland Symphony. That had been four orchestras before she landed in Dunmullach. A lifetime ago.
"Billy didn't say anything to me." She put down the heavy walking stick and tugged at her pajamas. "I'm not really dressed for company."
"Miss Brown." A note of irritation crept into the practiced, businesslike tone. "My assistant and I have a flight to catch this afternoon and this is the only convenient time for us to do a walkthrough. I can get McCarthy on the phone so you can discuss it with him, but it would streamline the process if you'd just let us in now. This will only take a few moments, then we'll be out of your way." He spoke like a man used to getting what he wanted.
Gethsemane eyed the shillelagh. Would it be worth spending life in an Irish prison to really get him out of her way?
More knocking. "Miss Brown?"
Why prolong it? She opened the door wide enough to see onto the porch. Hank stood closest to her, bundled in the familiar gray cashmere overcoat and scarf, silver pompadour with every hair in place unchanged from his last visit. A woman in a leather car coat huddled behind him. Her tight bun pulled veins into high relief on her temples. She wore a fake tan that failed to hide the underlying paleness of her skin. She muttered about the deficiencies of gravel driveways as she stood on one foot, the other leg flexed at the knee, and examined a stiletto-heeled boot.
Hank stepped forward. Gethsemane stepped back to avoid a collision and opened the door wide enough for Hank and his assistant to come in.
"Thank you, Miss Brown," Hank said.
"Doctor Brown," she corrected.
"Oh, that's right, you do have some sort of degree in, what is it, music?"
"A Ph.D. From Yale."
"You must forgive me, Doctor Brown. I believe I mentioned before I don't pay much attention to music. Too busy earning money."
Gethsemane clenched her jaw as the duo filed past. Sarcastic comebacks filled her head, but she suspected Hank would prolong his walk-through in retaliation for any comments. Best to keep silent for now and wait for a better opportunity to deal with Hank. An opportunity when she had the upper hand and could deal with him on her terms.
Hank led the way to the music room. His assistant trotted behind him. She paused by the coat rack and lifted the sleeve of a mackintosh between a gloved thumb and forefinger. She sneered, then let the sleeve fall as if she feared it might be infectious or vermin might crawl from it.
She wiped her fingertips on her coat. "How do you stand it?"
Gethsemane pegged her accent as New York, filtered through vocal coaching. "Stand what?"
"Living out here with the leprechauns? Mr. Wayne's is-it-miss-or-is-it-doctor routine is for show. He knows exactly who you are. He paid people to find out."
Gethsemane held her tongue as she vacillated between anger at being spied on and being creeped out. At least Hank did his homework.
The assistant continued. "We know all about you. Degrees from Vassar and Yale. Certification in orchestral conducting. Multi-instrumentalist. Prize-winner in several important competitions, often the youngest female and only African American to win some of them. World traveler who's performed with first-class orchestras on nearly every continent. And you turned down a job offer back in Boston — an offer from Peter Nolan, no less — for the privilege of being stuck out here in some dreary cottage straight from a Brontë novel without a Starbucks or a Neimans or a nail bar in a hundred-mile radius. I'd throw myself off the nearest cliff. How do you manage?"
Gethsemane couldn't hold back. Her inner snark demon won out over discretion. "Being out here's not so bad. Fresh air, beautiful view. And it could be worse. I could be playing flunky to a megalomaniacal narcissist with the aesthetic sensibility of a toddler beauty pageant coordinator."
The woman gasped. Hank's voice bellowed down the hall. "Where the hell are you?" The woman sniffled and hurried after her boss. Gethsemane followed. The assistant whipped out a tablet and stylus and scribbled as Hank gestured at walls. "We'll knock that one out, push that one back a few feet," he said.
Gethsemane slammed the Steinway's keyboard, interrupting Hank's soliloquy with a cacophony of notes. She strode to Hank and stared up at him, hands on hips. "You have no right to barge in here and talk about knocking out walls and auctioning off furniture. This is Eamon McCarthy's cottage —"
Hank cut her off. "Was Eamon McCarthy's cottage. Eamon McCarthy's been dead a quarter century. Now it's Billy McCarthy's cottage, and once he sells it to me, it will be my cottage. In no case is it any concern of yours."
"Carraigfaire isn't some random building no one's going to miss. Eamon and Orla McCarthy made important contributions to music and literature. Their home was their creative space and has major cultural significance. As an artist, and a decent human being, what happens to this cottage concerns me and would even if I didn't live here. Your mutilating this place just so you can install a cocktail bar and park an extra car or two in the front is — is — sacrilege. Eamon's and Orla's fans won't sit quiet while you destroy their legacy." She counted herself among those fans. Eamon McCarthy, brilliant composer and pianist, inspired her musical career.
"Dr. Brown." Hank's tone dripped oil. Gethsemane wanted to run upstairs and shower. "I don't want to destroy Carraigfaire. I want to enhance it, make it accessible to the new legions of McCarthy fans — fans garnered thanks to you."
Leave it to Hank to throw her success in her face. Twenty-five years ago, Eamon McCarthy had been suspected of murdering his wife in a jealous rage then killing himself in a fit of remorse. A month ago, Gethsemane proved him innocent and uncovered the real killer. Her investigation made the news, and news generated publicity. She pictured oversized tourist buses lining the road and a parking lot crowded with cars where the garden used to be. And the thought it might be partly her fault ... Hank rubbed salt in her wound. She'd pull the scab off one of his.
"Aren't you afraid remodeling the cottage will upset the ghost?"
Hank had been terrorized by traumatic childhood paranormal experiences. Violent entities drove his entire family from their Michigan home in a well-publicized incident dubbed "The Wayne Terror" by the press. Gethsemane only hinted Carraigfaire was haunted the last time Hank visited and he'd gone into near apoplexy and scurried from the cottage. His reaction this time differed.
He laughed. "No need to worry about a ghost, once again, thanks to you. Billy assured me his uncle's ghost rested in peace after you cleared him of those dreadful false charges. Well done."
Damn. Damn. And damn. Bluff called. Carraigfaire had been haunted when she'd moved in, by Eamon's ghost. The ghost convinced her to investigate the murders and became her friend in the process. But she hadn't seen him since she'd solved the mystery.
"Too bad the cottage isn't haunted," Hank's assistant said. "Paranormal tours are still trending."
Hank's eyes narrowed and he clenched his fists. The woman froze like an animal caught in the crosshairs of a high-powered rifle.
"I, I mean, I, um," she sputtered.
Hank's voice dropped and he spoke through a clenched jaw. "Out."
"But, Mr. Wayne, I —"
He lowered his voice further, to almost a whisper. "Now." The cold intensity of his tone seemed to drop the room temperature several degrees. Veins pulsed in his temples.
The assistant clamped a hand over her mouth and ran from the room. The front door slammed.
Hank scowled at Gethsemane, all pretense of nothing-personal-it's-just-business gone. "Are you religious, Dr. Brown?"
Gethsemane nodded. "I'm an Episcopalian."
"Then you're familiar with Twelfth Night."
Epiphany. What did the magi's arrival at Jesus's manger have to do with anything?
Hank didn't wait for her answer. "Billy invited me to his Twelfth Night party. I'm expecting him to give me a gift. One that beats the hell out of twelve drummers drumming. I suggest you start looking for other living arrangements before then."
Hank headed for the hall. Gethsemane followed him out. His assistant held his car's rear passenger-side door open, but Hank ignored her and got behind the wheel. He peeled out with a spray of gravel. His assistant hung her head as the car disappeared around the corner and walked after it.
"I can call a taxi," Gethsemane said.
The woman halted, tugged her coat, squared her shoulders, and continued down the hill without looking back.
Gethsemane paced the hall and tried to calm her nerves. "Floyd Gardner, two-eighty-four; Vic Harris, two-ninety-two; Smokey Joe Williams, three-thirty-three; Buck Ewing, three-seventy-five." Reciting Negro League batting averages usually worked to calm her nerves. Not this time. Hank had a point. The sale and destruction of Carraigfaire didn't concern her. She loved the cottage as much as Eamon had, but she had no rights to it. She didn't even pay rent. Billy let her stay in exchange for upkeep. Billy had every right to sell what he owned, and Hank undoubtedly made him an obscenely generous offer. So why did the thought of walking away feel like betraying a friend? She went to the piano. Eamon's piano. The piano where his ghost had composed "St. Brennan's Ascendant," the concerto she'd used to lead the school's honors orchestra to victory in the All-County School Orchestra Competition. She played. The concerto's movements flowed from allegro to andante to allegretto, mirroring the school orchestra's journey from defeat and humiliation to sacrifice and determination and, finally, to triumph and restoration of pride. During the competition, Gethsemane had ridden the notes, along with the musicians and audience, from despair to hope for a bright future. Today, however, the music only highlighted her sense of loss and desperation and brought her to the brink of tears.
She slammed the keyboard. "Eamon McCarthy, where are you? I need you. Carraigfaire needs you."
She listened. Silence. She searched the cottage. No dimpled smile, no curly hair, no green eyes, not even a blue orb. She sniffed. No trace of leather-and-tobacco cologne mixed with the freshness of soap, the telltale sign Eamon was about to appear. Nothing. She had nothing.
She caught sight of herself in a mirror. Rumpled pajamas, red-rimmed eyes, hair sticking out in all directions. She scolded herself. "Stop it. Get a grip. You don't quit. You didn't quit when you had six weeks to lead a boys' orchestra from zero to first place, you didn't quit when the body count rose and everyone told you to go home before you got killed. You don't quit." The only way to save Carraigfaire from Hank's "improvement" plan was to convince Hank he didn't want the property. And a full-scale haunting was the only way to do that. She needed a ghost to save this house from that smarmy SOB. She'd find a ghost.
* * *
A cold winter wind snaked beneath Gethsemane's collar as she stood in front of a Vodafone store window still bedecked with Christmas decorations. She'd paused on her way to Arcana Arcanora, Dunmullach's occult bookshop and New Age store. If she was going to bring Eamon back from beyond the veil, she'd need to do more than mope around and shout at empty rooms. She pulled her Helly Hansen trench coat tighter and stooped for a closer look at the smartphones. She needed to replace hers, stolen in her luggage along with almost everything she owned the day she arrived in Dunmullach. Stranded with her violin and the dress on her back, she'd made do with Orla's old clothes until her first paycheck afforded her a shopping trip to Cork. Not that she could complain. The late Mrs. McCarthy had excellent taste. A twenty-five-year-old Chanel suit was still a Chanel suit.
"Apple or Android?" asked a voice behind her.
Gethsemane recognized the baritone and greeted An Garda Síochána Inspector Iollan O'Reilly. His trademark stingy-brimmed fedora, pulled low against the wind, obscured his salt-and-pepper hair. His eyes shone smoke gray this morning, not the thunderstorm-dark gray they'd often appeared while she investigated the McCarthy murders. A red scarf insulated his neck above his black wool car coat. He wore black leather chukka boots, Cole Haan, she guessed. The inspector had a thing for quality footwear, a tip he'd picked up, like his hat, from his policeman father.
"How go the cold cases, Inspector O'Reilly?" she asked the head — and sole member — of the Dunmullach garda's cold case unit.
"Still on ice, a fair number. I'm following up leads on one or two. And call me Niall."
"Your name's Iollan."
"My name's Iollan to my ma and my ex-girlfriend. And to my baby sis when she wants to borrow money. Everyone else calls me by my middle name."
"Niall, then. I'm afraid you'll have to settle for calling me Gethsemane."
"What? Get? Simi?" She made a face. Her paternal grandmother had insisted all the grandchildren receive Biblical names. She'd been the only one of the five siblings christened with a name not easily shortened. Close family called her by a pet name, Sissy, bestowed on her as a child when her younger siblings struggled to pronounce Gethsemane. She'd rather hear fingers on a chalkboard than have anyone outside the family use it.
"What's your middle name?"
O'Reilly cocked his head and studied her. "Nah, Gethsemane it is."
"Halloo!" The call sounded across the village square. The postmistress waved an envelope from the porch of the century-old red brick post office. "You've a letter, Dr. Brown. Had it nearly a fortnight."
Mail delivery didn't extend up to Carraigfaire Cottage and Gethsemane hadn't thought to stop by the post office and check.
"It's from America," added the postmistress.
"No trouble, I hope," O'Reilly said.
Gethsemane listened. Tchaikovsky's "Pathétique," her internal early warning system, didn't sound off in her head. Probably an offer for a credit card or car insurance. Junk mail tracked her down no matter where she traveled. "One way to find out. Excuse me." She crossed the green.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Death In D Minor"
Copyright © 2017 Alexia Gordon.
Excerpted by permission of Henery Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is the second book in the Gethsemane Brown mystery series and is just as good as the first, although the plot is very different. There a a few things going on in this story, but Gethsemane is such a smart, intriguing and savvy character who stands up for herself and takes no guff from anyone, she is able to pull this story off without a hitch. Gethsemane is a conductor and violinist who is presently living in the Irish Countryside. She loves the cottage in where she lives, especially as it was the home of one of her musical heroes, and is determined to save it from the hotel developer working hard to buy it. She is also trying to conjure up the ghost who lived there, after he disappeared into the netherland at the end of the last book. Were that not enough, her museum curator brother-in-law is coming for a visit hoping to buy a unique and antique American cross-stitch sampler. On the sly, he is also assisting in the investigation of a ring dealing in fake and stolen antiques. Instead, he ends up accused of theft, and Gethsemane is accused of murder. Hoping for help from her favorite ghost, she accidentally calls up the spirit of an 18th-century sea captain who once knew the girl who stitched the famous sampler. Even though I have only read two books by Alexia Gordon, I am impressed with her writing style and voice. I love that she introduces you to the story right from the start. There is no unnecessary information or dialogue to bog down the story. As I said above, the MC is a strong, prickly character who is not warm and fuzzy but independent and can make others uncomfortable. My big disappointment in this book was that the ghost of Eamon was not present for most of the story. I enjoyed the banter these characters had in the first book and I hope it returns in the next. Overall, this book had many things I love. A wonderful setting ie. Irish countryside, a ghostly sidekick even though it was not the same one as the debut in the series, Forgeries; this time it is textiles which I loved that it is explained that they are art, murders, yes there is more than one and a wonderful amateur sleuth. The story was exciting, humorous, and clever using the idea that Gethsemane can ‘summon’ up ghosts, even the wrong ghost, giving a paranormal twist. The plot is fast-paced and kept me interested and guessing throughout the book, I did not guess the culprit until the clues were unraveled and the answer is shared with the reader. I am looking forward to the next book in this series, Killing in C Sharp. I listened to the audiobook and was quite pleased with the narration. Helen Duff did a great job with the various character voices and I loved the Irish Accent. I definitely recommend this book to cozy mystery lovers who are looking for something a bit different.
audiobook, cosy-mystery, ireland, law-enforcement, art-fraud, ghosts I really enjoyed this! Some things were so totally different from the usual, like conjuring the wrong ghost and yet he was so the right one. The art fraud angle was nonstandard as well. The characters are interesting and engaging, the plot is ingenious. The publisher's blurb gives hints and there is no need for spoilers. Just enjoy! Helen Duff does a fine narration, and I love her accent.
Gethsemane Brown is at it again. Our music-loving sleuth can’t seem to stay out of the way when evildoers show up and wreak havoc in Dunmullach, Ireland. Death in D Minor is an enthralling Cozy Mystery, complete with a crime ring, danger around every corner, murderous villains, and ghosts. While Death in D Minor is the second in this Gethsemane Brown Mysteries series, it can stand alone; however, I definitely recommend reading Murder in G Major as it introduces the characters and the setting and is equally entertaining to boot. School’s out for the season, so Gethsemane is free from her teaching duties, but does she sit quietly at home, staying neatly out of trouble? Of course not! Trouble finds her first when Hank Wayne, an obnoxious hotel developer, sets his greedy eye on Carraigfaire cottage, Gethsemane’s current place of residence. And this little problem is only the beginning for our high-spirited music teacher. When Gethsemane’s brother-in-law, Jackson, visits from the States, she is thrust into the complex world of art fraud that is filled with deception, thievery, and murder. Gethsemane quickly learns that not everyone is on the right side of the law, despite their official appearances. Gethsemane Brown once again proves how insightful, observant, and quick witted she can be. The pace is quick quick quick, and the characters, both corporeal and incorporeal, are exciting, eccentric, and completely captivating. But don’t be fooled by all the hilarity, flowing bourbon, and spell casting to summon ghosts. The danger is oh so real and definitely becomes a bit messy and gruesome when all is said and done. Gethsemane just may get way more than she bargained for in Death in D Minor.
It's been so long since I've read a good mystery. I felt like a kid again as I devoured the Hank the Cowdog or The Boxcar Children books. Death in D Minor was not just cheap thrills, but well thought out, devious schemes. There was one point that Gethsemane looked at a receipt and thought the handwriting looked familiar and I wanted to get out my notepad and take my own detective notes and was mad that I hadn't thought of that sooner. I had no idea if that obvious hint was foreshadowing, thrown in to throw me off, or if I completely overlooked a connection at the beginning, but I sat up a little straighter. It's like when I get lost driving for some reason I think it helps to turn the radio off. I love a book that will make you think, sit up a little straighter, and give it your full attention. I was a little nervous going into this book after reading the first few sentences that were bombarded with long names and Irish locations. I was scared the entire book would be name dropping and would distract me from the plot as I paused at each to figure out how to pronounce the foreign words. Also, I felt that the book seemed to go by a little slower than normal and I think it was because it had longer chapters than my last few reads. This book held about 18 pages per chapter where my last few were anywhere from 2-8 pages per chapter. I enjoy shorter chapters because that sense of accomplishment after you finish each chapter gives you the inspiration that you can easily finish them all in one night because of how fast you finished the last one. I reread the Author's Guest Post from her first book, Murder in G Major, and I realized how perfect her thought process was to have an American in a foreign country. I loved how often the main character was corrected to say garda every time she referred to them as police. It made me feel welcomed and not so lost in the Irish jargon that was sprinkled throughout that I wasn't the only one that needed some explanations every once in a while. I loved the internal dialogue as she asked herself all the different possible motives to help confuse the reader even more if they hadn't already thought of all those directions. The supernatural element was a first for me in a mystery book and I thought it was extremely clever and memorable. I thought it was hilarious how Gethsemane casually conversed with spirits throughout. I'm very interested to read her first novel now to get a little bit more backstory about her relationship with Eamon, the initial spirit she was wanting the bring back from the afterlife. I thought the balance of supernatural and mystery were exquisite. It seemed to play into the plot more heavily at the beginning, lighten up as the mystery picked up throughout the middle, then came back more to accent and wrap up the ending.
Gethsemane Brown is an amateur sleuth / musician / ghost whisperer. She’s out solving crimes, sometimes getting into hot water, and doing her best to rescue herself. She is a heroine without any romantic entanglements, which I seriously appreciated. I’m ok with some romance as a secondary plot in my mystery books, but I am more interested in the mystery. I’m happy to report that Ms. Gordon’s characters focus on solving the crimes. One aspect of Gethsemane that I find very interesting is the fact that music is tied to so many aspects of her life. She hears Tchaikovsky when she’s in danger and conjures a ghost by playing a sea shanty. I’m now regretting all the time I spent in school not practicing my clarinet. Death in D Major is full of fun and well-developed secondary characters as well. I especially enjoyed the local pastor with the occult book collection and Gethsemane’s co-worker, math teacher Frankie. I am impressed with Ms. Gordon’s writing style and world building. I learned that ghosts, at least in Ms. Gordon’s universe, are associated with certain smells. (I find this a very nifty character trait; it’s clearly my allergies preventing me from smelling any paranormal beings in my world!) The quaint small Irish setting is excellent, though, initially I was confused about the time period in which the book is set — classical music, modern setting, but seemed historical? But then, the mention of cars and a lost cell phone set me straight. I must admit to struggling with this book at the beginning. D Major is the second in the series and I haven’t read the first (shame on me!). I read the first paragraph a number of times, as it’s full of Irish town names that meant absolutely nothing to me. The central mystery also wasn’t apparent at first. Is this an art forgery/theft mystery? Murder mystery? What do ghosts have to do with anything? But after the first third of the book, all the aspects began to fit together, and I really began to enjoy reading D Major. As such, ideally, I recommend reading the first book before starting this one, but it does stand alone. The plot is fast-paced and kept me interested and guessing throughout the book; it’s a solid mystery with a side of paranormal. Overall, I enjoyed Death in D Major and main character Gethsemane in particular. I’m excited to read more of this series!
Gethsemane Brown is happy when her brother-in-law comes for a visit in Ireland. He's here to try and buy a priceless early American embroidery. When he's suspected of stealing it, she's recruited by the Garda to help exonerate him. While trying to clear her brother-in-law she finds the body of Olivia McCarthy-Boyle, the owner of the sampler. Can she do it? I liked Gethsemane. She's a feisty, intelligent woman. The fact that she's detail oriented means she doesn't miss any clues. Her brother-in law, Jackson Applethwaite, is protective and caring. I liked him, but he can't stop her from putting herself in danger. Gethsemane has a mind of her own. She'll do what she thinks is right. I loved how she called forth a ghost to help haunt a house. What happened next made me laugh. This mystery is well written and filled with unexpected twists. The setting added to the atmosphere. The plot is filled with unexpected twists and the ending was a shock. I never saw it coming. Alexia Gordon created interesting characters and wrote a well written mystery. I received a copy of this book which I voluntarily read and reviewed. My comments are my honest opinion.
It can be said that Alexia Gordon is not going to be hit with the sophomore curse. In her second installment of the Gethsemane Brown mysteries is as good if not better than the first. Gethsemane is settled in and enjoying the holidays. Of course, she would continue to enjoy them if she hadn’t been visited by the man who wants to kick her out of her home. However, Eamon’s ghost isn’t around any longer to help her out. This time she is on her own. She borrows a grimoire and attempts to contact Eamon but all she seems to conjure is her brother-in-law who shows up on her doorstep looking to visit while he attends an art auction in a nearby town. As she continues her attempts to contact Eamon’s ghost, Gethsemane finds herself embroiled in art fraud and murder. Gordon’s novel is filled with quips from her smart protagonist and the return of a few village characters. Readers who enjoy their mysteries complex, well plotted and a lot of fun should definitely pick this up. Plus, the endings of her novels have an unexpected twist. It is a delightful series and Gethsemane is an excellent protagonist. This is a terrific summer read. I wish to thank the publisher for generously providing an Advanced Reader’s Copy for my honest review.
Death In D Minor is the second book in the Gethsemane Brown Mystery series. I’m a somewhat recent fan to classical music and was immediately drawn to this series and am really enjoying it. Gethsemane Brown is a concert violinist and is teaching classical music and orchestra at boy’s school. She is presently living at Carraigfaire Cottage, the home of the deceased Eamon McCarthy a noted composer of classical music and whose ghostly spirit was an integral part of Murder In G Major. But Eamon’s nephew is more interested in selling the cottage to Hank Wayne, a hotel developer. Brown is awakened one morning by someone knocking on the door. Upon answering she is greeted by Wayne who barges in and proceeds to survey the cottage and informs Brown that the cottage will soon be his and she will need to find a new residence. To make matters worse she soon learns that her brother-in-law will soon be arriving to attend an auction where he hopes to purchase a wonderful example of an 18th-century sampler by a young American slave. When the sampler comes up for auction, it is discovered that it has been stolen. Jackson is arrested for theft as he was the last person who had seen it. It is then learned that the police have been watching some of the people as they are investigating a ring of thieves and art forgers. They convince Brown to work undercover in the hopes of learning more about the thieves The part I enjoyed the most was when Brown becomes frustrated by not being able to contact Eamon and seeks out Father Tim for some “spell” books to see if she can contact Eamon that way. She can’t, but what she does get is the salty Captain Lochlan, Captain of The Hesperus. His character is almost as entertaining as Eamon’s was in the first book and he will prove to be a life-saver. The book is an exciting story with many twists and turns to it and an enjoyable cast of believable and interesting characters. I will definitely be watching for the next book is exciting series.
Oh my God, I love these books. Sometimes the Irish is a little hard to figure out, but I really enjoy Eamon and a main character who is African American and is a classically trained musician. This book was even better than the first. and I didn't think that was possible. I hope there are many more coming!