by Cynthia Chow
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of Requiem in Red, along with a link to purchase the book where a portion goes to help support KRL & an indie bookstore, and a link to purchase it from Amazon.
Graduate student Cressa Carraway barely finished conducting her first full symphony orchestra at DePaul University before receiving an amazing offer. Madison Streete has come from Minnesota to ask Cressa to audition for the position as conductor for a chamber group with plans to expand into a full symphony orchestra. Even though it means leaving Chicago and her boyfriend Daryl, it’s an opportunity that allows an escape from the part-time teaching she loathes and an economy with few artistic opportunities.
Comprised of amateur volunteer musicians, the Hopkins Chamber Orchestra has Cressa leading artistic personalities who are donating their time and skills. While she navigates between her musicians and her ruling chamber board, Cressa’s introduction to the Presbyterian choir proves to be far more challenging. Their choir director, Powell Peckham, rules with an iron fist and without tact, and when he dies from a fall, Cressa questions whether it was an accident, suicide, or murder. The congregations, the local Presbyterian and Episcopalian ministers, and the chamber board all have enough secrets to obstruct Cressa’s hopes for a new harmonious life.
The first person narrative by Cressa is interspersed with chapters from the viewpoint of various characters including a struggling drug addict crashing in the church, a conflicted minister, and Maddy Streete. Maddy juggles her duties on the chamber board along with her troubled bi-polar brother, whose recent coming out is problematic primarily because of his choice in a partner. Cressa herself experiences the frustrations of a long-distance relationship, as Daryl’s focus on his own rising career as an artist has him overlooking hers.
Although this is the second in the Cressa Carraway Musical Mystery series, it definitely can be read as the starting point in Cressa’s career. The challenges and duties of a promising conductor are intriguing and probably new to most readers, who may have always pondered the importance of her job. Cressa’s responsibilities as the leader of her musicians prove to be as intriguing as the actual deaths themselves. With some of the action occurring off-page in this short novel, the fates of the Minnesota churchgoers all swiftly coalesce into satisfying and realistic conclusions. As author of the very popular Fat Cat Mystery series written under the name Janet Cantrell, author Kaye George continues to craft reliably entertaining and rewarding reads.
To enter to win a copy of Requiem in Red, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “red,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen April 2, 2016. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.
You can use this link to purchase this book & a portion goes to help support KRL & indie bookstore Mysterious Galaxy:
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