Alexia Gordon

Books: Mystery | Fantasy

Gethsemane Brown Mysteries: Murder in G Major (2016), Death in D Minor (2017), Killing in C Sharp (2018), Fatality in F (2019), Execution in E (2020)

Gethsemane Brown Mysteries

Murder in G Major (2016)

Murder in G MajorGethsemane Brown is stuck in Ireland. The assistant conductor job she was promised fell through, her luggage was stolen, and she's out of money. If she doesn't want to return to her family with her tail between her legs, she has get a job until she has the money to return to the states.

So she takes a job music teacher for a private academy and moves into the home of one of the men who inspired her to become a musician–and who years earlier supposedly murdered his wife and then committed suicide in remorse.

All she wants to do is hold on until she can find another job and move back to the state, but the ghost who lives in her house has other ideas–he wants her to prove that Eamon McCarthy was not a murderer and a suicide, and perhaps in doing so, help the boys win the All-County contest for the first time in ages.

I like Gethsemane a lot.

(M)y career plans don't include a scorched earth policy. I want to leave on a high, not sneak away in shame like the Colts out of Baltimore.

And I liked the ghost as well.

"(T)here are no social media feeds in the afterlife."

"Thank God."

"Well, maybe in Hell."

The story was fun, and although there were uneven bits (it did read like a first book) it was good and it was fun.

"Let me rephrase. Not that either of us went out last night, but if one of us had gone out and the other had gone with her and helped her do something that almost got them thrown in jail, one of us would want to say thank you."

"The other of us would say you're welcome. And he'd wonder again why the other of us asked him since he's not exactly been nice to one of us."

It did end on a bit of a note that I didn't particularly care for, opening up the mystery for the next book. But aside from that it was enjoyable and I do believe I'll read the next book.

Publisher: Henery Press

Death in D Minor (2017)

This book is set three months after the first, Murder in G Major. Gethsemane Brown has decided to stay in Carraigfaire to keep teaching music, but now the home where she has been staying may be sold to a hotel magnate–a man who turns historical buildings into cheap tourist traps.

"Thank you, Miss Brown," Hank said.

"Doctor Brown," she corrected.

"Oh, that's right, you do have some sort of degree in, what is it, music?"

"A Ph.D. From Yale."

"You must forgive me, Doctor Brown. I believe I mentioned before I don't pay much attention to music. Too busy earning money."

And the ghost that could help her–the former owner of the house–has gone missing.

On top of that, her brother-in-law is coming to visit, since he has business nearby.

"Jackson arrives the day after tomorrow. I haven't cleaned, there's no food in the house—"

"He's family. He's coming to see you, not the house."

"He's Southern family." She swore again.

I like both of the guys she turns to in need–Frankie.

Gethsemane hissed at Frankie as soon as Andrew was out of earshot, "What are you doing?"

"I bet 'affordable price point' means less expensive than a bespoke suit."

And Niall.

"Give me one comment and I'll saunter on," Finn said.

"All right." O'Reilly held her phone near his lips. "For the record, may the cat eat you, and may the devil eat the cat."

It's a cute story and I do want to read the next book.

Publisher: Henery Press

Killing in C Sharp (2018)

Killing in C SharpGethsemane Brown is mostly settled in to Dunmullach and teaching teenage boys, as well as the occasional foray into solving crime.

Kent reached out and laid a hand on her arm. "Don't be nervous."

Gethsemane patted Kent's hand. "Don't worry, I'm not." She'd performed live all over the world and she taught teenaged boys. Nothing unnerved her.

But now ghost hunters have come to look for Eamon McCarthy, Venus James is in town to revise her book on Eamon's death, and the composer Aed Devlin has returned to premier his opera about a vengeful Hungarian ghost. Killed by her family centuries earlier.

The then-baroness, named Maja after the infamous legend—"

"How's that for tempting fate?" Hardy whispered to Gethsemane.

If Poe heard him, she ignored him. "— decided to put an end to the shame. She practiced folk magic, and she modified her vengeful ancestor's curse. She decreed that if anyone ever wrote about, sang about, preached about, or publicly spoke about the Zoltán family curse, they would die in the same way as that Zoltán generation's eldest sons. She also swore a wasting sickness would claim the lives of any firstborn male who listened to or watched a performance of the doomed piece."

These are fun reads, and I enjoyed the story, even as I had issues with the mystery. First, I didn't quite get why the second murder needed to occur. If the murderer already had plans to leave the country and take up an assumed identity, then the second murder was unnecessary.

And just felt rather mean, to be honest.

Also, I keep finding quarantine books this year.

"I've canceled all classes until further notice. Activities, too. I don't want this thing to spread any further than it already has. St. Brennan's is under quarantine."

So fun, despite its problems.

Publisher: Henery Press

Fatality in F (2019)

Fatality in FIt's summer break, and Gethsemane has taken a gig playing and conducting for a local flower and garden show–a show where her friend and co-worker has a chance of taking a prize.

He'd hybridized the rose himself and christened it the 'Sandra Sechrest' in honor of the librarian who'd given him a biography of Pythagoras when he was seven and sparked his lifelong love of math.

I love that bit.

But when a competitor ends up dead, Frankie ends up under suspicion.

As with previous books, there was a lot I enjoyed here.

Gethsemane suspected he'd hidden and watched them because he appeared with his keys as soon as the last coffee cup went into the bin near the Athaneum's entrance. Mr. Greevy despised food and drink in his theater.

I did have a few issues with the story, first and foremost being, why would Gethsemane have encouraged Frankie to hide from the police initially? That really wouldn't change the suspect–just make him less of a suspect–just make the police more suspicious.

"The Cork garda has people who specialize in this kind of thing, luring online predators and such, but there's no time to bring them in."

Uh… why not?

To be clear, I did actually enjoy the story, though I believe Gethsemane is one of those friend it might be dangerous to know.

Publisher: Henery Press

Execution in E (2020)

Execution in EGethsemane Brown is frustrated that her landlord has rented the lighthouse for a wedding–though not as annoyed as Eamon, the ghost whose house she rents.

The bride is an Instagram Influencer–and an all-around horrible person.

"Ms. Markham's parents' money buys a great deal of tolerance of Ms. Markham. The pay is phenomenal. And I've convinced myself that running interference between Sunny and the rest of the world is my penance for past sins."

But the groom doesn't seem to be much better. And when the gentleman in question sends Frankie's girlfriend running away in tears, Gethsemane decides to do what she can to ward off the horror she feels coming for the sake of her friendship with Frankie.

OK, I never knew that this was a thing outside of Frostburg.

I worshiped in places with names like Ark of Safety and Holiness Tabernacle."

Sadly, this character was not originally from Frostburg.

This is another story set outside the school year, so she and Frankie have the free time wander about attempting to prevent/solve crimes. But we do get some teenagers.

"Why does Feargus Toibin know about 'deal with the devil' websites?" Gethsemane said aloud.

Frankie scanned the computer screen over Tim's shoulder. "Because he's a teenaged boy. Teen boys are repositories of information both horrific and shocking."

There seemed to be a lot less Eamon in this story–and a bit more of the supernatural (besides Eamon).

This mystery felt weaker than the earlier books, but I still eagerly devoured the story, so take that as you will. I will definitely read the next book, but I do hope it's a little tighter.

Publisher: Henery Press