cover image Melody of Murder

Melody of Murder

Stella Cameron. Crème de la Crime, $29.95 (224p) ISBN 978-1-78029-084-3

Cameron’s third cozy (after 2015’s Out Comes the Evil) featuring pub owner Alex Duggins and her love interest, veterinarian Tony Harrison, won’t do much for readers not previously invested in these underdeveloped leads. Alex returned home to the Cotswolds village of Folly-on-Weir, following her divorce and the death of her infant daughter. Five year’s later, she’s now considering placing a memorial bench for her daughter in a local churchyard. While visiting the churchyard, Alex enjoys hearing the singing and piano playing of a woman inside the church. After the music ends abruptly, Alex enters the church, where she’s horrified to find a dead woman, later identified as 22-year-old Laura Quillam, lying underneath the piano. The police soon classify the death as a possible homicide, and Alex, who is wracked with guilt at having been so near at the fatal instant, once again plays amateur sleuth. The Quillam family’s dysfunctions provide ample room for speculation as to motive, but none of the characters makes much of an impression, and the climax is fairly melodramatic. (June)