Joelle Charbonneau
Murder For Choir
Penguin 2012

Murder for Choir is the debut novel in a new series by Joelle Charbonneau.  The mystery niche in this case is the cutthroat world of high school choir competitions.  Although marketed as glee club, be cautioned.  Even with a small g, don’t start reading thinking Murder for Choir will resemble Glee. This book is more about the teachers, and while performances are fun and well choreographed, they do not take centre stage.

Murder for Choir centres around Paige Marshall, a klutzy but talented opera singer who lives with her Aunt Millie, a wonderfully eccentric Mary Kay saleswoman extraordinaire with a penchant for taxidermied canines.

Paige is newly hired to help the choir at Prospect Green High School prepare for an important competition.  She joins summer choir camp in progress, only to discover the rival director, Greg Lucas murdered:  Death by microphone cord.  Unfortunately, Lucas is not short of suspects who at best dislike him, and at least one who would prefer him to come to harm. Kindle version at Amazon

The show must go on, and the investigation begins.  A student is arrested, but with the help of some interesting recruits, an unconvinced Paige sets her sights on ferreting out clues to find the real killer.  Her snooping crosses the bounds of personal safety and common sense, and gets her into a lot of trouble.

Murder for Choir by Joelle Charbonneau includes an interesting collection of characters, from Larry, the less than stellar choir coach, to Felicia, the Martha Stewart type costume designer, and Devlin, the seriously sexy and flirtatious drama teacher who becomes Paige’s confidant and partner in anti-crime.

Murder for Choir is a fun foray into murder and misadventure, with Joelle Charbonneau‘s brand of often very visual humour definitely raising the bar of entertainment value.  If a nice light read is what you’re looking for, you will find it here.