Having a world-famous cellist as a protagonist, in this case Sara Selkirk of Bath, would seem an unlikely attraction as a heroine, and yet we are drawn to her and her world and follow the action of this unusual series.
Fearful Symmetry and Funeral Music were the first two in the series, and amidst the resolution of murder follow the growing relationship of Sara with DCI Andrew Poole, father of two young children who are struggling to understand their parents earlier divorce.
This newest outing, Fruitful Bodies, revolves around Sara reuniting with her old cello teacher, Prof. Joyce Cruikshank. Joyce has come to watch Sara play a special concert at the Royal Albert Hall, and Sara watches in horror as her former teacher keels over, drunk as a skunk.
A murder in a local pub involves Joyce, and indirectly the Sulis Clinic, a font of organic wellness for the rich. When one of Sara’ best friends is admitted to the Sulis, the stakes are raised and it becomes obvious there is a killer on the loose.
Joss won the Crime Writers’ Association “Silver Dagger” Award for her stand alone novel Half Broken Things, a gripping psychological novel. The inside glimpses we are given of Sara’s music world add to the intrigue.
What Joss continues to do in the Selkirk series is to create believeable characters against a realistic background of floundering new relationships, with all of the sad and funny things that happen along the way. That the two major characters get involved in solving murder cases is purely a mystery readers bonus, and a delight.