After the suspicious drowning death of her husband and the unsolved murder of her best friend, Sofia, Maggie O’Shea doesn’t seem like the luckiest action heroine around. She kind of wants to stay home, drink too much wine, and play her piano, but investigations into both those untimely deaths start to turn up information on both her son’s father, who’s been presumed dead for 30 years, and her missing godson (Sofia’s son). Maybe she’s not just unlucky after all…
Throughout The Lost Concerto, our heroine Maggie suffered slightly from Indescribable Charm Syndrome, an illness that unfortunately affects many novel protagonists. Maggie constantly charms everyone in her path, receiving essential information out of reticent contacts, delighting curmudgeonly secret agents, and generally succeeding where the trained investigators have failed through her pleasing personality alone. Everyone Maggie is just instantly taken with her that the investigation began to feel a little repetitive.
But I’m kind of OK with that, because Indescribable Charm Syndrome is usually a trait of sexy ingenues, not grandmotherly musician Maggie O’Shea. An fiftyish pianist, who casually gives her agent-partner the slip when she feels like staying at a more charming Paris hotel? A woman who wears a cringe-worthy musical pun T-shirt at every exotic location of this fast-pased adventure? A woman who looks back on the meet-cute with her lifelong girl friend before setting off to rescue her friend’s son? This is a heroine I can get behind.
The novel moves between some of my favorite places, like Boston, the Massachusetts coast, and Rome. (Does Paris count? I changed planes there once… Yeah, totally counts.) Also, the investigation involves art theft, priceless artifacts, jewels and secret villas. Yes. At first, I thought the Shakespeare-quoting murderer was a bit much, but just go with it, readers, and you will be rewarded. It works. (Especially when “Juliet” rises from her tomb. Nuns are way more trustworthy than that shady friar.)
I received a copy of The Lost Concerto to read and review. As always, all opinions on my blog are my own, and ARCs have never stopped me from snarking about a bad book.