Gethsemane Brown, African-American musician and expatriate to an Irish village, solved a string of murders and got used to living with a snarky ghost. She can rest easy now. Right? Wrong. The ghost has disappeared, her landlord's about to sell to a developer, and her brother-in-law's come to visit. She scrambles to call her spectral roomie back from beyond and find a way to save the cottage from destruction. But real estate takes a backseat when her brother-in-law is accused of stealing a valuable antique. Gethsemane strikes a deal with an investigator to go undercover at a charity ball and snoop for evidence of a forgery/theft ring in exchange for the woman's help clearing him. 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. She races to untangle a web of phony art and stolen antiques to exonerate herself, then the killer targets her. Will she bring a murderer to justice, or will her encore investigation become her swan song?
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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.
A writer since childhood, I put literary endeavors on hold to finish medical school and Family Medicine residency training. Medical career established, I returned to writing fiction. I completed SMU's Writer’s Path program in Dallas, Texas. Henery Press published my first novel, Murder in G Major, book one of the Gethsemane Brown mysteries, in September 2016. Book two, Death in D Minor, releases July 11, 2017.
Murder in G Major won the Lefty Award for Best Debut Novel, was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best New Novel, and was selected one of Suspense Magazine's Best Debuts. I listen to classical music, drink whiskey, and blog at www.missdemeanors.com, voted one of Writers' Digest magazine's 101 best websites for writers, and featured on Femmes Fatales.
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