Death in the Choir
Publisher: Tumblar House
Publication Date: July 1, 2009
Book 1 of the Francesca Bibbo Series
Francesca Bibbo is eager to jumpstart her social life, so she joins the choir at St. Rita's. There, she discovers that the director and the pastor are locking horns over a decrepit organ, while the sopranos are vying for solos. After a rehearsal party, things go very wrong, and when someone shows up dead, the police rule the death a suicide. But Francesca suspects foul play, so she begins prying into the dead man's past. Before long, she uncovers shocking and sinister facts about the choir members.
There's a lot of light chatter with jokes and double entendres. For example when one woman is describing the physique of another, she says "Her cup definitely overfloweth."
There's chatter and speculation over whether a character is homosexual or heterosexual.
A priest loathes a certain woman who goes to confession because she goes into detail when it comes to her sexual sins. He nicknames her Lady Chatterley. Nothing graphic is mentioned. All we know is the priest's complaint.Violence & Gore: None Profanity: None Alcohol/Drugs/Smoking: None
NOTE: This guide may be incomplete.
Lorraine V. Murray is a free-lance writer living in Decatur, Georgia, with her husband, Jef, and a hamster named Ignatius. She works part-time in the Pitts Theology Library at Emory University. A columnist with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, she is the author of six other books. Lorraine's latest work of fiction is Death Dons a Mask a wild and wacky romp through a small Georgia parish that is perpetually plagued by crimes and misdemeanors. This is the third book in the laugh-out-loud Francesca Bibbo series, which also includes Death in the Choir and Death of a Liturgist. Her most recent nonfiction is a biography of Flannery O'Connor, which is titled The Abbess of Andalusia. Lorraine has written about her conversion story in Confessions of an Ex-Feminist.
I finished DEATH IN THE CHOIR in two days. It is a page-turner filled with suspense, prompting the reader to continue on until the answer to the mystery is revealed.
The writing style is lively and colorful, a suitable counterpart to the heroine of the tale. While it is a story told from a third person point of view, the writing was filled with such personality as to give the impression that Francesca Bibbo was responsible for it. As to be expected from such a wonderful Italian name, Francesca is an enjoyable protagonist with her own fun idiosyncrasies. I especially appreciated how random thoughts circled through her mind, on display for the reader. Her spirited and distinctly feminine personality lends an appealing bent to the story. While this story is, in some respects, a light book perfect for those who want to curl up on a winter day with hot chocolate, it is not shallow or too "light". Within her fun personality and zest for life is a heroine who cares deeply about others. I loved her devotion to St. Joseph and was deeply moved by her grief, as she tries to find happiness after the death of her husband. Francesca Bibbo is a courageous soul on top of everything else.
The atmosphere of the choir seemed almost like a character in and of itself. It is the perfect backdrop to an unfolding mystery. Each member of the choir was well-drawn, like they were people in real life, and led to both humorous and dramatic moments.
As a warning, there are some sexual references. Nothing graphic, but I would advise that parents take a look first.
All in all, a cute and fun story and engaging narrative!
Writers are at their finest when they write about what they know and love. After reading the book, it's clear that Murray loves tasty treats, fine wine, pets, and romance. If you like any of these things, you'll love Death in the Choir. An absolute treat!