The Killer in the Choir
by Simon Brett
Kindle Edition, 192 pages
Published July 1st 2019 by Severn House Publishers
Although she hadn’t known Leonard Mallett very well, nor liked him particularly, Carole Seddon feels duty bound to attend her fellow committee member’s funeral. As she suspected, the hymns, readings and sermon are all very predictable – not unlike Leonard himself. What she couldn’t have predicted was that the deceased’s daughter would use the occasion to publicly accuse her stepmother of murder.
Did Heather Mallett really kill her husband, as many Fethering residents believe? Deciding to get to the heart of the matter, Carole’s neighbor Jude joins the new community choir – and discovers that amidst the clashing egos and petty resentments lurk some decidedly false notes. At least one chorister would appear to be hiding a deadly secret – and it’s up to Carole and Jude to unearth the truth.
This is the nineteenth book in the Fethering Mystery series by Simon Brett.
This is the first book I have read in this series and I wonder why any of these people like each other enough to attend the same church much less be in the same choir together. As a former choir member in my old church and a current worship team member of my current one, I am totally familiar with the dynamics shown here. We usually have to team old familiar hymns with new contemporary Christian songs that the younger people hear on the radio. It is not usually an either/or question. You need to appeal to the entire congregation not just a select few. This enhances their worship experience. They learn new songs and get to sing old favorites at the same time. The majority of a congregation these days is usually over 60 years old. They put in new contemporary songs in order to appeal to younger people and draw them to church.
I was uncertain about the plot of this book. I have never heard of a choir singing at someone’s wedding, especially a new and untrained choir who couldn’t read much or sing much in harmony. In my church choir I was one of only a few harmony singers. Getting something like this book talks about off the ground is quite a large task.
The two sleuths in this seemed less like a tag team and more like they were competing with each other. I don’t know why there needs to be two sleuths plus the police. Lot of people investigating and not a lot of people being suspected of murder. I thought the plot was a bit convoluted. But choirs are more convoluted than anyone realizes. You spend more time with these people than anyone else in your life usually. Someone is usually always angry at someone else. And there is always that one person who gets so much joy from being in the choir yet can’t seem to hold a note on tune to save their life. There are always the standout singers and the ones who don’t have the confidence to project their voice more than a whisper. I think this book got the choir dynamics right but I felt the motivation of the murders fell flat.
I had a lot of hopes for this story but came away thinking it was just a decent book.
I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this title.