Review: UNHARMONIOUS by Laine Boyd

Karen S. FaszoldToday I’m turning the blog over to my mom, Karen Faszold (that’s her to the right!), which is only appropriate since she inspired my love of reading. I’m excited because she’s going to review a debut book by a local St. Louis author. I’d love to do it myself, but with my towering to-be-read list, I haven’t yet gotten to it. BUT, it has music, mystery, and it’s set in St. Louis, so what’s not to love? Hopefully I’m not stealing my mom’s five things she loves best :). On to the description …

Julie Davenport, a cellist with the prestigious St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, is trying to put her life back together after her beloved husband dies in a terrible plane crash. After an extended leave of absence, she returns to the beautiful Powell Hall to resume her successful career, while continuing her struggle with grief. It isn’t long before her life is turned upside down again when she is followed on her drive home after her first rehearsal. She then begins to receive threatening phone calls. At first she is annoyed, but as the caller persists, annoyance turns to fear.

Unharmonious by Laine BoydWithin a few days a man claiming to be a detective shows up at her home and informs her that her late husband’s plane crash may not have been an accident. He asks her many questions, which, to her dismay, she is unable to answer. Questioning how well she actually knew her late husband, she embarks on her own quest for answers only to be under attack and fearing for her life. Who is after her? What do they want? Who can she trust?

Not everyone is convinced that Julie is innocent. Is she unwittingly involved as a pawn in someone’s dangerous game? Or, is she the mastermind behind a scheme of fraud and murder? How did the quiet and privileged life of an unassuming symphony cellist, dedicated to bringing beautiful music to others, become so Unharmonious?

Take it away, Mom!

Thanks, Michelle. I found I could not limit it to five, so here are the six things I loved most:

1.  Music – Julie Davenport, the main character, is a professional cellist and also a pianist. I loved the descriptions of early lessons, her love for her instrument, dedication to practice, and the whole life of a musician. Plus, she is a member of my favorite orchestra, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.

2. St. Louis – Because the story occurs in my hometown, I particularly enjoyed the references to various St.Louis landmarks, highways, parks, and restaurants. These were seamlessly integrated with imaginary streets and places that make up the setting for the story.

3. Chocolate – Since I know how much the author LOVES chocolate, it was fun to see Julie love it in the same way. Her decadent descriptions made me hungry, too!

4. Friendship – Throughout the book there are friends who interact with Julie in positive and very different ways, as she is going through depression and later fear. And there was a twist here that completely caught me by surprise, always a good thing in a mystery.

5. Romance – The descriptions of romance in the book were well done, without being risqué. While this book was not written for the YA reader, there is nothing in the book that would be a concern if they read it.

6. Faith – Julie questions why a loving God would allow all the things that have happened in her life. Pastor Grady handles these masterfully, while gently leading Julie to a better understanding of the nature of God.

Ooh, I didn’t know about the chocolate! And I can see why my mom needed six instead of five. Thanks, Mom, for stopping by the blog, and everyone else, go check out UNHARMONIOUS!

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