MURDER IN C MAJOR by Sara Hoskinson Frommer


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A pleasantly unassuming, tidily plotted debut focused on 40-ish widow Joan Spencer, who's back in Oliver, Indiana, her childhood home, with teen-aged son Andrew. She soon settles in with a job at the Senior Citizens center, meets a few old acquaintances and finds a place to play viola with the local symphony--which includes other local amateurs such as county-prosecutor Sam Wade, who plays second oboe; boorish lady-killer George Petris, who's on first oboe; short-tempered, elderly bassoonist Elmer Rush, who helps care for a brain damaged granddaughter. Joan is sitting near Petris when he's stricken by what looks like a fatal heart attack. But aspects of it remind orchestra manager Yoichi Nakamura of his uncle's death by poisonous fish; and burly, handsome police detective Fred Lungquist is soon convinced it's murder, especially after flutist Wanda Borowski is found with her throat slashed and after Petris' oboe disappears. Eventually, Joan puts some of the pieces together, but it's Fred who ferrets out motive, method and killer. All in all: too heavy on the music minutiae for general consumption, but the small-town background rings true--as do smart, refreshingly normal Joan and Fred. A return visit would be welcome.

Pub Date: July 28th, 1986
ISBN: 1890208310
Publisher: St. Martin's