A Sour Note (A Music Box Mystery)
by Jill Piscitello
About A Sour Note
A Sour Note (A Music Box Mystery)
1st in Series
Setting – Hampton Beach, NH
Wild Rose Press (June 26, 2023)
Paperback : 250 pages
ISBN-10 : 1509249176
ISBN-13 : 978-1509249176
Kindle ASIN : B0C2ZH3XL2
On the heels of a public, broken engagement, Maeve Cleary returns to her childhood home in Hampton Beach, NH. When a dead body turns up behind her mother’s music school, three old friends land on the suspect list. Licking her wounds soon takes a back seat to outrunning the paparazzi who spin into a frenzy, casting her in a cloud of suspicion. Maeve juggles her high school sweetheart, a cousin with a touch of clairvoyance, a no-nonsense detective, and an apologetic, two-timing ex-fiancé. Will the negative publicity impact business at the Music Box— the very place she’d hoped to make a fresh start?
Following a bad public break up Maeve Cleary has been wallowing at her mother’s home in Hampton Beach, NH. When she finally leaves the house she finds herself in Happy Beans owned by her high school sweetheart, Finn Keaton. Her best friend Paige gets her out of there and to The Music Box, Maeve’s mother’s music school where Paige works. Paige’s next appointment is with Trixie Bell, the woman now engaged to Ryan, Paige’s ex and Maeve’s friend, who wants to serenade Ryan at the wedding. Meeting “the Ice Queen” was enough for Maeve so she heads to the nearby bookstore while Paige takes care of the lesson. After meeting up, Paige realizes she forgot her phone so they head back to The Music Box where there make a frightening discovery. Trixie Bell has sung her last note and has been thrown away like trash.
Soon Maeve’s old friends top the suspect list and the body being found behind her mother’s school is sure to cost her students. She has no choice but to find the killer on her own. But will she be able to do that without getting killed herself?
Maeve wants a fresh start and wants to help her friends get off the hot seats they have found themselves on. Her heart is in the right place and in addition to helping her friends, she realizes her mother, Jules, needs her help on another front. We also meet Jules’ gossipy friends and they are a hoot. I really liked Maeve’s friends and how easily they fell back into their close friendships. We really have just scratched the surface on these characters but the author did an excellent job with their backstories for this first book of the series.
Ms. Piscitello has written a very well-plotted mystery. Our victim made a lot of enemies with her diva attitude which means there were plenty of suspects. I enjoyed the way Maeve took on the investigation. The author placed a couple of red herrings in the mix which gave me pause, but I did pick out the guilty party before Maeve. The motives were much more complex than I imagined. A simple thing set up an exciting showdown complete with a surprisingly unique weapon to hold Maeve at bay. Ms. Piscitello described that scene so well I was scooted right up to the edge of my seat reading it, clearly visualizing each second.
A Sour Note has set the Music Box Mystery Series off to a fabulous start. The author hit all the right notes with realistic characters and dialogue, an intriguing mystery with twists and turns, all set in a charming New England town. The final paragraph was so sweet and totally warmed my heart. I am very excited for this series to continue.
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About Jill Piscitello
Jill Piscitello is a teacher, author, and an avid fan of multiple literary genres. Although she divides her reading hours among several books at a time, a lighthearted story offering an escape from the real world can always be found on her nightstand.
A native of New England, Jill lives with her family and three well-loved cats. When not planning lessons or reading and writing, she can be found spending time with her family, trying out new restaurants, traveling, and going on light hikes.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”