Monday, April 29, 2013

End Me A Tenor - Joelle Charbonneau

End Me A Tenor
A Glee Club Mystery
Joelle Charbonneau
Berkley Prime Crime
Paige Marshall’s singing career is looking up lately.  She’s been making ends meet by coaching a high school show choir in the Chicago area while waiting for auditions to turn up a better job.  That job has arrived, thanks to a production of the Messiah, starring David Richard, arguably the most famous tenor in the world.  Paige will be the soprano soloist and is excited and nervous to be sharing the stage with such a talent.  Her illusions take a beating on the first night of rehearsals when David turns out to be a self-centered jerk.  Things really get bad when he takes a swig from his water bottle, convulses, and dies on the spot.  The police quickly determine that the man was poisoned.
Paige is no stranger to murder investigations (see: MURDER FOR CHOIR) but she’d prefer to leave this one in the hands of the police.  One of her high school students reminds her that the police don’t always get it right, but Paige still plans to opt out as sleuth.  That is, until she comes across information that would be quite useful to the police, and, in the process, finds another dead body.  Now that it looks like she could be next, it seems like simple self-preservation to make sure the killer is caught quickly.
Unlike the first installment of this series, the action here takes place mainly in the world of professional musicians, moving the high school show choir action to the background.  This is a wise choice on the part of the author, since a professional group (of adults) contains more suspects with more life experience and thus, more possible motives for their (re)actions.  Paige reacts pretty normally to the crimes, being freaked out by the deaths, scared that she might be next, wanting the killer arrested.  Her most sympathetic moment, though, is when she experiences very guilty relief that the production – her big break – will not be derailed by the deaths.  The pacing is a bit awkward in spots, but overall, this is a solid and entertaining mystery. 

Rating: 6 ½
April 2013
ISBN# 978-0-425-25216-1 (paperback)


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