I was concerned to find that I had picked up book 10 in the series, but this works well as a standalone novel.
There is a slew of characters that are obviously well established but quick comments on their relationships soon bring a novice up to speed. Although even in the opening paragraphs I did find this a bit repetitive so imagine if you read all the series this would start to grate.
The time line seemed a bit off in the first few chapters as they were out jogging, then rescuing, driving home, eating supper then bed all within what appeared to be only an hour or so.
Between music and food making interludes this story meanders through Gus’ life, lots of family, extended family and friends. The affection and love becomes a bit overwhelming at times and whilst they have suffered loss etc I was starting to feel that their lives were a little too perfect; however, if you are invested in this series, to be on no.10 book, then I should think you feel part of the family by now.
There is a dramatic start to the book which then takes a long and windy way to get to the meat of the story and the crux of the mystery.
There is some intrigue, tension and a hint of threat, but Professor Gus is calm and comforting, so the real edge is never felt IMO. When you don’t actually fear for any of the characters’ lives it’s hard to be all that concerned. For me this is very much a lazy Sunday afternoon read.
The two main mysteries to solve are siblings Thom and Lily and the secrets they hide. Then there is the Music Man at the Nursing home, a lost man who remembers is lost love, Bella, when music is playing, with an added little twist, both are very emotive stories.
Am I intrigued enough to read from the beginning, maybe, as mysteries are not really my thing but I did enjoy the beautiful descriptions of landscape, music and food.