It’s my stop on Publication Push for Dead in Tune by Stephanie Dagg. Many thanks to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for the tour invite.
Title: Dead in Tune
Author: Stephanie Dagg
Published on: 2 December 2022
Genre: Cozy Mystery
It’s nearly Christmas, a time for peace and goodwill. Or maybe not.
It’s Christmas time and Martha is busy making mince pies and attending choir practice. Martha receives a phone call from her best friend Lottie one early morning. The flamenco dancers’ house has been burned down and the dancers barely managed to escape without grievous injuries. The couple have a small baby and are currently looking for temporary accommodation.
Martha makes room for them in her holiday cottage. Then, that same evening, Martha witnesses a mugging. A Dutch Clog dancer is almost battered to death with his own footwear. Martha was at the right place, on the right time. She barely managed to shoo away the mugger and save the dancer from being beaten to death.
On the night of the carol service, a Scottish bagpiper is found dead – stuffed in the boot of his car. Convinced that these events have a common link, Martha and her best friend Lottie start to investigate.
Dead in Tune by Stephanie Dagg is a Christmassy cozy set in rural France. I loved the setting. Martha spending her mornings at the barn, cleaning the hen coop and feeding the animals – a dash of rustic charm to a cozy mystery.
The mystery itself was quite interesting. The arson, mugging gone wrong and finally a murder – as the story proceeds, Martha realizes these three events had a common link. A couple of red herrings peppered along the way made it difficult for me to spot the killer before Martha did.
Though Martha’s beau does not make an appearance until the end – he’s on a cross country ski-trip with his friends, their conversations over phone and Christmas surprises added a dash of romance to the story.
I loved Martha and Lottie’s camaraderie. Both are unique in their own ways. While Martha is laid back and sticks-to-the-plans, Lottie is a tad impulsive and bold. There’s a twist in the second half of the book – something to do with Lottie’s “adventure” and surprise party.
I did not see the twist coming. The identity of the killer was a huge surprise. They are identified almost halfway through the story all right. What happens next is an edge-of-your-seat kinda action sequence. 😀
Overall, Dead in Tune by Stephanie Dagg is an entertaining Christmas cozy read.