Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Death in D Minor ~ ~ Blog Tour, Review, & Giveaway!

  Genre: Paranormal Mystery / African American Sleuth
Publisher: Henery Press
Date of Publication: July 11, 2017
Number of Pages: 236

Scroll down for giveaway!

Gethsemane Brown, African-American musician and expatriate to an Irish village, solved a string of murders and got used to living with a snarky ghost. She can rest easy now. Right? Wrong. The ghost has disappeared, her landlord's about to sell to a developer, and her brother-in-law's come to visit. She scrambles to call her spectral roomie back from beyond and find a way to save the cottage from destruction. But real estate takes a backseat when her brother-in-law is accused of stealing a valuable antique. Gethsemane strikes a deal with an investigator to go undercover at a charity ball and snoop for evidence of a forgery/theft ring in exchange for the woman's help clearing him. At the party, she accidentally conjures the ghost of an eighteenth-century sea captain, then ends up the prime suspect in the party host’s murder. She races to untangle a web of phony art and stolen antiques to exonerate herself, then the killer targets her. Will she bring a murderer to justice, or will her encore investigation become her swan song?

Gethsemane Brown is everything an amateur sleuth should be: smart, sassy, talented, and witty even when her back is against the wall. In her latest adventure, she's surrounded by a delightful cast, some of whom readers will remember from Gordon's award-winning debut and all of whom they won't forget. Gordon writes characters we want resurrected.
n  Cate Holahan, author of The Widower's
Wife and Lies She Told

Erstwhile ghost conjurer and gifted concert violinist Gethsemane Brown returns in this thoroughly enjoyable follow-up to last year’s Murder in G Major. Facing eviction from the historic seaside cottage she calls home, Gethsemane must clear her brother-in-law’s name - as well as her own - when a priceless artifact goes missing and the wealthy dowager to whom it belonged is “helped” over a high balcony railing.  With the help of a spectral sea captain she accidentally summoned, Gethsemane tries to unravel the mystery as the murderer places her squarely in the crosshairs.

n  Daniel J. Hale, Agatha Award-winning author




“Sitting still and letting events run their course wasn't in her nature."

Talk about an understatement! Gethsemane Brown doesn’t ever slow down or wait for answers – she goes out and gets them. The result is a high-energy, non-stop, entertaining mystery from start to finish.  Though Death in D Minor is the second book of the Gethsemane Brown Mysteries series, it is the first I have read, and it works just fine as a stand-alone. (Not that it will stand alone; I already have book one, Murder in G Major, queued-up!)

There are so many things I love about main character Gethsemane, but it is her quirkiness that I enjoy the most. From her internal warning system (strains of Tchaikovsky’s Pathétique play in her head when something is amiss) to her internal monologue (what she thinks and what she says are laugh-out-loud different), Gethsemane amuses to no end. Throw in her tendency to swear like a sailor, drink whisky, and do things like loudly singing “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” to get attention in a police (oops, garda) station, and I have all I need to be a super-fan. She’s plucky, she’s spunky, and she’s smart as a whip with a brain always going full throttle. The only element missing is a clear visual of how she looks, which is important to me. I gather Gethsemane is short, and she is black, but I am not sure about much more than that. Perhaps more description is provided in the first book. . . I will find out soon enough.

With description and characterization, author Alexia Gordon does a fantastic job with her cast of characters and setting. There is a huge cast of characters, but the ones who count are well-defined and fleshed-out, generally with one characteristic that keeps each distinct. My favorite is Frankie:

Most days he went about in a curmudgeonly funk, swaddled in an oversized tweed jacket and wrinkled khakis, perpetually miffed at the world.
Don’t confuse well-defined characters with clearly defined characters; Gordon keeps readers guessing as to who is and is not to be taken at face value. The story takes place in a few small Irish towns, and the Irish words, places, and names help immerse the readers into the setting. There are many words I didn’t know, but they are easily worked out contextually. Out of curiosity, I looked up definitions of a few and even listened to a few audio files to hear pronunciations (Taoiseach! Wow! I was not even close.) I think the audio book would be a hoot!

Death in D Minor is a delight to read. The writing is intelligent, and the book is cleanly edited. Gordon shares plenty of details about a variety of subjects (art, forgery, music, embroidery, grimoires, history) and even draws some parallels between Irish and Black oppression. But the points made are done so in a subtle manner, and they add to the story instead of detracting. There are several plot lines going on, and admittedly, as the big reveals unfolded, I had to re-read some to understand who did what and how – it is complicated! Though it felt a bit rushed, each mystery is satisfactorily and surprisingly resolved by the book’s conclusion, and readers are left with a teaser for what may be coming in a next installment.  I will be there when it happens, and meanwhile, I recommend readers get up-to-speed with books one and two.

Thank you to Lone Star Book Blog Tours and the author for providing me a print copy in exchange for my honest opinion – the only kind I give.

A writer since childhood, I put literary endeavors on hold to finish medical school and Family Medicine residency training. Medical career established, I returned to writing fiction. I completed SMU's Writer’s Path program in Dallas, Texas. Henery Press published my first novel, Murder in G Major, book one of the Gethsemane Brown mysteries, in September 2016. Book two, Death in D Minor, releases July 11, 2017.

Murder in G Major won the Lefty Award for Best Debut Novel, was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best New Novel, and was selected one of Suspense Magazine's Best Debuts. I listen to classical music, drink whiskey, and blog at, voted one of Writers' Digest magazine's 101 best websites for writers, and featured on Femmes Fatales.            

GRAND PRIZE: Signed Copy of Death in D Minor + Whisky Field Guide, Sea Salt & Bay Rum soy candle, Notepad, $20 Starbucks Gift Card
2ND PRIZE: Signed Copy of Death in D Minor, Ceramic Skull Coffee Mug, $20 Amazon Gift Card
October 25-November 3, 2017
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