Monday, March 03, 2008

Symphony of Secrets

So I'm on a major Sharon Hinck kick, I guess. Finished reading The Restorer's Journey recently. And this morning, I finished reading Symphony of Secrets.

Like I said, I went to the gala opening a week ago. Jill read the book first and then passed it on to me afterwards. And this proved to be a fast, satisfying read as well.

Sharon Hinck puts together a very nice cozy mystery centered around concert flutist Amy Johnson. Amy is a single mother who finally gets her big break: she is able to join the Minneapolis Symphony. But then everything else spirals out of control. Her daughter, Clara, not only joins the (gasp!) cheerleading squad but she also starts to ask some uncomfortable questions about her father, ones that dredge up painful memories. Her friend, Lena, has converted to Christianity and is putting pressure on her to come to church (pressure that pops up in an unexpected way). And worst of all, the symphony is floundering as an unknown individual is out to sabotage everything. Amy does her best to deal with the mystery, but her efforts seem to only make things worse.

Amy is a prickly musician through and through. Like many of Sharon Hinck's characters, Amy feels inadequate in many of her roles. But unlike Sharon's other characters, Amy isn't a Christian. Not even close. She has definite First Commandment issues since she "worships" music as her god. The Christianity is not as blatant as in the Becky Miller or Restorer books but it is there.

One of the best things about this book is that I didn't see the solution coming. Well, that's not true. I had my suspicions, but Sharon created enough plausible suspects that I couldn't say for certain. The musician jokes added some spice to the story (and I especially appreciated the fact that the jokester was a trombone player. Man after my own heart). In short, if more Amy Johnson books come out, they'll be a great addition to the Sharon's pantheon of books.

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