Sunday, December 15, 2013

Book Review: End Me a Tenor by Joelle Charbonneau (Glee Club Mysteries #2)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Interesting characters that are growing
Cons: Paige still takes a few risks; pacing
The Bottom Line:
A new body drops
In musical time of year
Book hits the right notes

Musical Murder Strikes Again

Christmas means many things to me, but one of them is Christmas music.  In fact, I’m listening to some of my favorite songs as I write this review.  So it really does make a natural fit for a series that centers on a professional musical to have a book set at Christmas.  And that’s just what we get with End Me a Tenor, the second in the Glee Club Mystery series.

It’s a busy week for Paige.  Her high school show choir has a performance during the annual Holiday Concert, and she has to show off their spring competition songs or she might not be able to keep her job.

But she’s also the soprano soloist in a sing along Messiah concert.  The show features tenor famous David Richard, and she’s hoping her involvement might boost her performance career, which is her true goal.  However, at an early rehearsal, David takes a sip of water from his bottle and dies.  When the killer begins to come after Paige, she jumps into action to find him or her, but can Paige do it with everything else on her plate?

In the first book, Paige took the show choir coach job reluctantly since she needed something to pay the bills.  I was actually rather happy with her character growth here when it comes to the kids.  She’s matured in other ways, including the fact that she is smarter as she goes about the investigation this time around.  Okay, so it’s not all the time, but some times – and that’s a step in the right direction.

The rest of the returning cast is interesting and developed as well.  There are two potential love interests, and I find I like them both for different reasons.  We only get to know a couple of the kids, but they add to the book as well.  And the suspects are real enough that we care about the outcome.

The plot was a little uneven at times.  Part of that is because the sub-plot of the show choir getting ready for the concert (and yes, there are complications along the way) took up some times.  Yet I found myself caring about those scenes just as much as the murder; that’s how much I came to care for Paige.  Even so, I felt the murder could have used another twist in there, although the ending did still surprise me.  Yet all the pieces fell into place by the time it was over.

So if you want a fun mystery set at Christmas, End Me a Tenor will fit the bill.  With a good story and likable characters, you’ll find yourself drawn in as the pages fly by.

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