Murder in A-Minor

Murder in A-Minor

A Sam Wedlock Musical Mystery

Fiction - Mystery - Murder
468 Pages
Reviewed on 04/26/2016
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Janis Thomas is the author of Murder in A-Minor, the first book in her Musical Murder Mystery series (available May 2016), as well as three humorous women’s fiction novels, Something New, Sweet Nothings, and Say Never, which was chosen by Chick Lit Central as one of the best books of the year. Janis has written over fifty songs, and two children’s books which she wrote with her dad. When she isn’t writing or fulfilling her PTA duties, Janis likes to play tennis, sing with her sister, and throw wild dinner parties with outrageous menus for friends and loved ones. Janis lives in Southern California with her husband, their two beautiful children and two crazy dogs.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers' Favorite

Murder in A-Minor by Janis Thomas is the first in a series of Sam Wedlock Musical Mysteries. Samantha Wedlock used to work for the NYPD, but her career ended in disaster. Heading back to California, she finds the only way she can cope is through the internet and alcohol. Lieutenant Jack Hudson, an old flame of Sam’s, suddenly turns up, asking her to help him on a case. Two college co-eds have been viciously murdered and he needs Sam to help him find out who did it. Sam doesn’t want to get involved and turns him away, but the pull is there. Sam needs to find her drive again and she needs to know that she has a future so, grudgingly, she accepts. The music plays full blast and nonstop in her head, music that has always been there, allowing Sam free rein to learn how to trust her own instincts again if she is to catch the killer.

Murder in A-Minor: A Sam Wedlock Musical Mystery was quite brilliantly written. Janis Thomas has a clear and professional grasp of the true written language and knows exactly how to draw a reader in. The prologue hooked me and, from there on, that book wasn’t going down until it was read. The plot was very cleverly written and there were plenty of twists and turns, lots of action, and a little bit of old-fashioned romance thrown in for good measure. I grew to know the characters so well; it was almost as if I were reading about people I truly knew. I love a good mystery and this book had every ingredient needed. There is also the matter of a message here: no matter what life throws at you, when the chips are down, there is always a way back and a way forward. Excellent book, I'm looking forward to the next one.

Marta Tandori

Murder in A-Minor by Janis Thomas is the first installment in what promises to be a great series called the Sam Wedlock Musical Murder Mystery Series. There are some D.B.’s (dead bodies) for those of you who are uninitiated in crime lingo, a less-than-perfect protagonist who has a talent for making up song verses in tense situations – and there’s plenty of those – and then, of course, there’s the hunky ex-lover-now-partner, all of which are set amid a backdrop of SoCal’s upwardly-mobile beach community, Newport Beach. Don’t kid yourselves, though. A lot of intelligent thought has gone into crafting this mystery, and for lovers of this genre, Murder in A-Minor will be certain to please.

Detective Samantha (Sam) Wedlock, formerly of the NYPD, has come back to Newport Beach and has spent the last year in a semi-vegetative state of inebriation after a close run in with a serial killer in New York almost ended her life instead of his. Crashing at her mother’s apartment while her mother’s out of the country, Sam is angry when her old flame, Lt. Jack Hudson of the Newport PD, asks for her help with the latest murder. The victim is an undergrad co-ed, Millicent (Leelee) Randall, daughter of ex-Mayor John Randall. Despite her initial misgivings about being in close proximity to her former lover, Sam’s expertise and the details of the case soon have her hooked. And it doesn’t take them long to compare Millicent Randall’s murder to the month-old murder of another co-ed, Hannah Linklatter. What the two girls do seem to have in common are secrets and, while in the middle of unearthing these secrets, Sam receives an envelope with some clippings from her last case with the NYPD. Suddenly, things become personal as she’s forced to watch her back while trying to solve two homicides.

Overall, there’s plenty to like about Murder in A-Minor. Thomas has created a perfectly flawed protagonist in the character of Sam Wedlock. She can slug back beer and hard liquor with the best of them, makes no apologies about her nasty nicotine habit, yet Sam is still woman enough to want to look good for a certain someone – although she’d never admit it, of course! The author sets the stage for the murders, then provides a colorful cast of potential suspects before scattering the story with the odd clue here and there – only to then introduce more characters which just makes the solving of the whodunit all the more frustrating and enjoyable. Thomas also has a great knack for self-deprecating humor and character description. Case in point: “Mrs. Carley, the librarian at my middle school, had been eighty-three years old, with Coke-bottle glasses, a Nazi disposition and a propensity to fart regularly.” Clearly, there’s nothing pretentious about Murder in A-Minor. At its heart, it’s just a great, well-thought out whodunit. Two thumbs up, most definitely!

Rabia Tanveer

Murder in A-Minor: A Sam Wedlock Musical Mystery by Janis Thomas follows the fortunes of Samantha Wedlock. When her career ended disastrously with the NYPD, she floundered to find her path once again. The only way she could fight her demons was with help from large quantities of alcohol and the Internet. However, she finds her spark once again when Lieutenant Jack Hudson asks for her help with the murders of college co-eds. There is something about finding the killers that keeps her on a roll and centered. But it is not that easy. It never is. She has to push herself to her limits. Can she do it?

Murder in A-Minor is a solid mystery novel. This is perhaps the first murder mystery that I really, really liked after reading Marie Force’s Fatal Series. This series has promise. The lead character is very, very strong and she is a riddle that needs to be solved by the reader. When I am reading a murder mystery, I need that. I don’t need everything handed to me. I want to delve deeper to find the answers and this is exactly what I had to do.

I found Samantha very intriguing; she was an enigma, a riddle. The writer, Janis Thomas, wrote the plot to perfection. It has everything; a brilliant start, a great plot line, an amazing climax, and an equally amazing finish. Janis Thomas knew what she was doing and she did it in a wonderful way. She has a gift and I believe the next novels in the series will be just as perfect. This is wonderful, wonderful murder mystery and has great cover art.