cover image Ode to Murder: A Larkin Day Mystery

Ode to Murder: A Larkin Day Mystery

Nicole Dieker. Shortwave Media, $12.99 trade paper (240p) ISBN 978-1-73369-195-6

PhD candidate Larkin Day, the heroine of this diverting series launch from Dieker (The Biographies of Ordinary People), has taken a break from working on her dissertation on Chekhov, which was exploring whether the playwright’s famous gun theory really changed anything for dramatists. Depressed at being directionless and impoverished, Larkin has moved back in with her mother, a college dean in Pratincola, Iowa. Josephine persuades her daughter to join the community choir for a performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony as part of a joint musical event with other Iowan singers. The reluctant chorister becomes involved in a murder investigation when she finds the body of piano accompanist Harrison Tucker, who had been a no-show for a vital rehearsal, near the stage. Larkin relishes the break from her unsatisfying search for meaning in her own life by turning detective, and she feels inspired after learning that many people may have had motives to murder Tucker. Dieker’s gift for amusing dialogue enhances the whodunit. Fans of everywoman amateur sleuths will want to see more of Larkin. (Self-published)