Murder in G Major

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By Alexia Gordon; reviewed by Jeannette Hartman

Musician and conductor Gethsemane Brown gives up everything — a Dallas apartment, her fiancé and an ascending career — to take a promised job as assistant conductor with the Cork Philharmonic Orchestra.

Then her plans collapse. The job goes to the music director’s mistress, her luggage and money are stolen and her career is tanked.

There’s no going back to Dallas . . . and there’s no going back home to Virginia and her overachieving family as a failure.

Instead, she finds herself “stranded halfway between the airport and the back of beyond,” clutching her violin case as a mad driver (Billy McCarthy) careens over a twisty road to a deserted cottage in an Irish village she’s never heard of.

She’s taken a job as a music teacher and orchestra leader at St. Brennan’s School for Boys in Dunmullach. There’s just one major challenge attached: she has to get the school’s orchestra ready for a competition in just six weeks.

If she does, she has a chance to impress the competition’s guest judge, Peter Nolan, enough to hire her as a new music director for the Philharmonia in Boston.

Billy pulls up in front of Carraigfaire Cottage. It’s been abandoned for 25 years after Billy’s Aunt Orla was apparently pushed off the nearby cliffs by his uncle Eamon, who then committed suicide.

Not everyone believes that story. And especially not Gethsemane after she “meets” the late Eamon, a musician and composer whom she has admired since childhood.

Yes, you read right. Gethsemane meets a dead man. Eamon’s ghost, to be precise, who wants her to find evidence to get his case reopened and properly investigated.

This is a fun mystery that escapes the coy insipidness of many cozies. Eamon is a temperamental ghost who grows increasing fond of Gethsemane and her commitment to music, teaching and righting wrongs.

This book does suffer a bit from “Midsomer Murders” syndrome — enough murders to empty the village. (There are at least six before the story ends.)

This book, published in 2016, was followed by:

  • DEATH IN D MINOR (2017).
  • KILLING IN C SHARP (2018). 
  • FATALITY IN F (2019).
  • EXECUTION IN E (2020).

All of the books are set in Ireland and involve a ghost or two. Usually Eamon’s, but not always.

If you have a taste for murder, mystery and ghost set in Ireland, check out HIMSELF by Jess Kidd.

#MurderinGMajor #JeannetteHartman. #Alexiagordon. #bookreviewsbyjeannette

The Author: Alexia Gordon

Alexia Gordon has been a writer since childhood, but set it aside to go to medical school and become a family medicine physician.

She won her first writing prize in the sixth grade. She has gone on to win a Lefty Award, multiple Lone Star Literary Bloggers’ Choice Awards and be nominated for an Agatha Award and become a finalist for a Silver Falchion Award.

Raised in the southeast, educated in the northeast, she has lived in various places around the United States, including Alaska. She completed Southern Methodist University’s Writer’s Path program. She practices medicine in North Chicago, IL.

She is a “lover of art, music, fine whiskies, needlework and ghost stories.”

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