Review: THE PUCCINI CONNECTION by Sam Bond

A music lover myself, I recently read the first book in a musically-themed cozy mystery series by Sam Bond – The Puccini Connection (A Milkwood Murder). A fun read.

About The Book

An idyllic English village, a lovable heroine, and a Puccini-inspired murder. Who knew opera could be so deadly?

British expat, Josie Monroe, returns to the idyllic village of Milkwood and finds herself chief suspect in a family murder. Surrounded by cricket greens, duck ponds and lies, Josie must discover the culprit if she wishes to return to the US and Lady Belle DeCorcy is just the pal to help her.

Josie is a down-to-earth, classical music-loving pianist. Belle is a flighty, beautiful and slightly unhinged debutante, making the two amateur sleuths an unlikely and comically inept, team. As if Josie doesn’t have enough problems, she is also dealing with the “Witches of Milkwood,” an elderly trio convinced that Josie is the murderer and that Belle is one sandwich short of a picnic.

Living with a cantankerous cat named Elgar and her aunt’s handsome, but seemingly untrustworthy, lodger, Josie is also coming to terms with resurging feelings for her childhood sweetheart, Detective Inspector Adam Ward. Luckily, tea and tenacity will see her through, even if every time Josie hears Puccini she risks discovering another body.

The Puccini Connection is a cozy English murder mystery with a classical music-loving amateur female sleuth in a picturesque English village with quirky, lovable characters and an extremely grumpy cat. No cliffhangers, gore, graphic violence, sex or overtly strong language.

My Review

Josie arrives in Millwood just in time to find her aunt’s body, and the villagers are quick to cast her as the main suspect. She knows she didn’t do it, so she sets out to find out who killed the aunt she remembers with such great fondness, except her memories don’t jibe with the sentiments of the locals. At every turn, she uncovers another suspect, with another motive.

As the story unfolds, you meet a full cast of quirky, endearing characters as befitting a cozy mystery set in an English village. The first-person narrative has a light, conversational tone and Josie’s sense of humor, at times self-deprecating, makes this an entertaining read.

And, of course, this music lover enjoyed the integration of a musical theme.

FTC disclosure: I received a review copy of this book. This has not affected the content of this review in any way.

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