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Gethsemane Brown, ex-pat living in Ireland, is quite the virtuoso in more than music; she has proven to be pretty good at sleuthing, too. Her skill gets challenged when the surprising appearance of her brother-in-law and museum curator Jackson Applethwaite, set to bid on an early American miniature sampler on behalf of his museum, turns into his being accused of theft when the sampler goes missing…but could it be murder when the owner of the sampler is found dead? Inspector Iollan 'Niall' O’Reilly of An Garda Síochána (The Guardian of the Peace—Irish police) has approached Brown for her assistance in their investigation of a ring of art forgers and thieves, so things get very serious. She tries to conjure up her helpful ghost Eamon McCarthy to help exonerate her brother-in-law, but something goes delightfully wrong.
I enjoyed this story so much that I decided to revisit it by listening to the audio version narrated by Helen Duff. I am now a big fan of Alexia Gordon’s Gethsemane Brown Mystery series, but newbies can comfortably start with book 2 “Death in D Minor,” the story provides enough details and descriptions into the back story and character connections to keep you very engaged: Irish countryside? Ghostly sidekick? Forgeries? Murders? Who knew being a classical musician could be so…precarious! The story was exciting, nail-biting at times, humorous, and clever using the idea that Gethsemane can ‘summon’ up ghosts, even the wrong ghost, giving so many opportunities for a paranormal twist. It works! It is not juvenile hocus-pocus. Gordon’s characters are well developed with Gethsemane becoming one of my favorite amateur detectives. But, Captain Lochlan, an eighteenth century ship’s captain, adds such a delightful dynamic! Playing out in the background we have intriguing references to needlework, comparisons with Irish and Black history, hints of romance, and continued issues with Gethsemane being an ex-pat. No matter what version, I really enjoyed this second book and highly recommend you go read book 1 “Death in G Major” to see how it all began.
The audio version, narrated by Helen Duff, is an absolute delight, and I loved revisiting this story. She is a different narrator from the first book, “Murder in G Major,” which provides the opportunity for comparison. Duff is a very talented voice artist, but she has a deeper resonance to her voice giving her more success with the male characters, whether American or Irish. She interprets Gethsemane’s Virginia background differently offering a slight southern drawl..,definitely a slower cadence. I choose to change the speed slightly (1.0 to 1.25) which helped alleviate the slower speech. She does extremely well with the various Irish brogues, and did I hear a more educated British accent for her third-person narrator? Her interpretation of the Latin incantations, speed of the auctioneer, and all the emotional ups and downs were excellent…very entertaining! This is why I am such a fan of audiobooks.
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.