Music is Murder
In her debut novel, MUSIC IS MURDER, B.J. Bowen invites readers into the insular and compelling world of an orchestra shaken by the murder of its bassoonist. Second flute Emily Wilson finds herself the prime suspect and begins her own investigation, determined to find the truth.
The author grabbed me from the beginning with her unique setting: a Monroe, Colorado orchestra full of vivid personalities that don't always get along. These are passionate people working in close quarters where the mistakes of one affect the whole. I knew basically nothing about orchestras before reading this and found the insider’s perspective fascinating. It’s an excellent setting for a novel, and especially for a murder. Considering the victim's headstrong and self-centered personality, her death isn't surprising, and it certainly isn't straightforward.
My favorite element of this novel is the characters. Protagonist Emily Wilson is the sort of person I want as my next-door neighbor--she's kindhearted with a dash of internal snark that keeps her narrative fun to read. She also has a sense of humor that made me chuckle out loud a few times. (Musician humor!)
In addition to the heroine, there's an orchestra full of interesting characters/suspects for Emily to investigate. My favorite character, however, has to be KC, a fellow flutist Emily takes under her wing. Their dynamic is the heart of this novel. Oh, and Emily's adorable golden retriever gets an honorable mention.
The mystery component is twisty with a gratifying conclusion. For Emily, the stakes are high and rise as the story progresses. The homicide detective in charge of the case is either too lazy or inept to look past Emily as the prime suspect, which forces her well out of her comfort zone to find the true killer. Each development in the case kept me invested, and the way the novel's themes come together at the end delivers a surprising emotional punch.
MUSIC IS MURDER is a delightful cozy mystery that boasts an engaging setting, memorable cast, and satisfying whodunit. As this is the author's debut, I will be eagerly looking for more stories from her in the future.
--All Pikes Peak Writes Award Winning Author, Leisel Hufford