Crime that strikes a chord: Musical mysteries


The Violin Plot by Brendan Slocumb

This is a non-murder mystery book that has a fantastic audiobook narrator (JD Jackson) and takes you into the world of a classical musician.

I enjoyed this book so much! First, because I loved stepping into the life and world of Ray McMillian as a black classical musician. Secondly because I love the voice of JD Jackson and the audiobook plays little bits of music between sections which were just lovely and just the right amount to give a taste without making you feel like you want to move forward quickly.

We start with Ray McMillian who had his violin stolen before the International Tchaikovsky Competition – big deal! – and not just any violin but a priceless Stradivarius. Ray immediately thinks that one of the two families must be responsible for the theft, one of the families being his (I know!). From there, we watch as Ray in the present must find a way to continue training for this life-changing opportunity while helping investigators and doing his own research to recover his violin. We also observe in the past how he acquires the violin and has to face immeasurable obstacles in order to continue on his path of wanting to become a professional musician.

I loved Ray, and he’s a much better person than I would have been in a lot of situations, and I really enjoyed getting to know him. If you’re looking for something that isn’t violent (except for a historical letter that depicts slavery) and want to immerse yourself in the world of classical music, pick this one. Bonus: the author writes from experience and I recommend reading the author’s note at the end.

(TW cancer deaths / recounts cruel violence against slaves)


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