Fatal Music is the second book featuring the French police captain Paul Durac.  The captain is pulled away from a jazz gig to handle a call.  An elderly woman has been found dead in her hot tub.  It seems to be a simply case of drowning.  To much surprise, it is later determined to be murder.  But why would anyone want to kill a harmless old woman?

Is it the neighbor, angry about her playing music too loudly in the hot tub?  Is it a disinherited heir, angry at losing a small fortune?  The victim had recently sold her house en viager – a process where the buyer makes a down payment and monthly payments until the seller dies.  Was the home buyer trying to force an end to the monthly payments? It seems like everyone has something to hide, but only one person killed the woman.  What is everyone else trying to hide?

Darac works to untangle the various threads in the case, finding out that even those who were innocent of the murder had plenty to hide – even the old woman had a few secrets in her past.

Story

Fatal Music‘s storyline involves a lot of jazz themes, but also some themes from the world of art.  Although I’m not a music or art buff, these elements tend to increase my enjoyment of a story.

The author, Morfoot, does a good job of hiding bits of information from the reader, while allowing us to realize that Captain Durac knows more than we do.  The story has several interesting forks, and the conclusion is quite good.

Characters

There are quite a few characters to keep track of.  While Durac is clearly the lead character in the book, several other characters take turns sharing the limelight with him.  Most of the characters are fairly complex, with more to them than it initially appears.  Overall, it’s an interesting ensemble of characters.

Verdict

The story is interesting and Durac is an enjoyable character to read about.  Refined and fair, but able to be rough when needed.  I’d recommend Fatal Music, especially to people interested in jazz or France.

Fatal Music is on sale April 4.

[Disclaimer: I received a free copy of Fatal Music for review purposes.]

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Kosmo is the founder of The Soap Boxers and writes on a variety of topics. Many of his short stories have been collected into Kindle books.

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