I'm going to divulge a little secret quickly, before I get to the review. I'm a total music junkie. I need to have some sort of music playing at all times, whether it's country, metal, rap, whatever. I listen to it and love it all. But my even bigger secret is that I love musicals. Go ahead, laugh. I can recite, word for word, Grease from beginning to end. Hairspray? Don't even get me started. When I found out my husband had never seen either of those, I almost went into shock and immediately pulled them off our shelf so we could watch them.
Now, when Glee came out, I wasn't really interested in yet - yes, it was a musical, but I wasn't really watching much TV at the time. My best friend said to me one day, "you know, I'm surprised you don't watch Glee, it seems like something you'd like." I simply shrugged it off. Until, one weekend, when I was doing a weekend-long babysitting stint while the parents were out of town, I was bored. The little one was asleep for the night and I needed something to do. So, I went on Hulu and watched one episode. The 'Furt' one, where Kurt's dad and Finn's mom get married. And from that point on, I became obsessed. I blame my best friend all the time, because I'm so in love with that show it's not even funny.
Anyway, when I got an email about the blog tour for Murder for Choir, my heart skipped a beat. Murder mystery. Glee club. Books. Three of my favorite things, all combined into one. Of course I wanted to be on that tour.
Paige Marshall is an out-of-work opera singer who takes a job at a high school teaching show choir. The kids aren't really big fans of her, she doesn't want to be a teacher, and she's living with her aunt and her aunt's poodle, nicknamed Killer. Basically, her life is nowhere near where she wants it to be. Teaching is supposed to just be temporary while she waits for an opportunity to get her career back on track. Until she finds the dead body of show choir coach at her school's biggest rival. From that point on, Paige becomes an amateur sleuth while she tries to figure out who killed him, all while dealing with her crazy aunt, putting together dance numbers, and trying to keep herself alive, because the killer wants her out of the way.
This whole book was just perfect. From the very first sentence until the very last page, I loved it. Paige was an awesome heroine, and I loved that the author didn't make her turn out to be some kick-butt lady out of nowhere. For me, that's always a huge issue with some mystery books - the main character is just an average person, but by the end turns out to be kicking rear ends and taking names. That didn't happen with Paige, she was even afraid of a dog. All of this made me love her more and more.
The plot was great. There was never really a moment where I said to myself, "come on, already, just figure out who the killer is!" Every part of the story was essential to keeping the whole thing together. And when I finally found out who the killer was, my jaw hit the floor. Totally unexpected, but once it came out, I started putting all the pieces together that had been there all along. I liked that I really couldn't solve the mystery until Paige did. The only thing I figured out was Devlyn's secret.
I'm definitely going to be raving about this one for a while. It's currently sitting on my shelf with my favorite books, where I imagine it will sit for quite a while. This is definitely a book I can see myself re-reading - a rarity with mysteries because I already know how it ends. Murder for Choir was good enough that I just don't care, I'll read it again just to visit with all the characters again.
More reviews can be found on my blog, Booktacular