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Funeral Music (Sarah Selkirk Mystery #1)

3.34 of 5 stars 3.34  ·  rating details  ·  192 ratings  ·  26 reviews
To the ancient Romans, the healing waters of Bath belonged to the goddess Minerva. Today they belong to the gods of commerce, as tourists teem, shops prosper, and the incense of gourmet food rises to the English skies. Among the throng is Sara Selkirk, a world-class cellist who came undone in a Paris performance. For Sara, taking a break from performing has given her a cha ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published March 29th 2005 by Dell (first published March 29th 1998)
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Funeral Music by Morag Joss is an example of the sub-genre of mysteries where a crime is solved not by a cop or a detective, but rather, by an amateur who has nothing to do with such things by profession. Or in this case, interest: in fact, the heroine du jour, Sara Selkirk, is a concert cellist. That's what drew me to this book in the first place, thinking that I like cello music and I like mysteries, so how can I go wrong?

Wishful thinking, unfortunately. You know that Point of View panel I pos
Funeral Music is the introductory volume to the Sara Selkirk Mysteries. Sara is a world renowned cellist who has lost her will to perform following the sudden death of her husband. But that is not the mystery in Funeral Music. Sara's well meaning friend and accompanist, James, cajoles her into playing a charity concert at Bath's famous Pump Room, after which she makes a horrifying discovery. Someone has stabbed to death the museum curator, dumping his corpse into the Roman baths, and Sara is the ...more
Nancy Oakes
Set in Bath, England, and first in a series to feature cellist Sara Selkirk, and as the series opens, Sara has all but given up her playing in public, due to a past trauma in her life. However, convinced by a dear friend to play with him at a local museum benefit, things begin to look up for her career. I wish I could say that this is just the backstory to a good mystery, but that's just not the case. In fact, the mystery, such as it is, is really kind of a sideline to Sara's story.

As it happen
Jeannie and Louis Rigod
This novel is not a cozy as I usually read, but not too gruesome, other than one scene described that almost had me in tears, this novel is just an example of excellent writing. A complex mystery that will have you wondering at the twists and turns and thrilled by the tying up of all the 'loose ends.'

A world renowned cellist, Sara Selkirk, lives in Bath, England and is desperately trying to achieve a sense of emotional healing from the loss of her lover. Not able to face crowds nor play Bach as
It was a pleasant read, but not a riveting one. Although the book is marketed as a mystery, it's really more a novel about the main character, Sara Selkirk, her suspended musical career, and the interest she has in a murder committed in the Roman baths of Bath, England. Unfortunately, I really couldn't muster up much enthusiasm or interest in her or in most of the other characters. The plot meandered at times; all of the characters and events eventually tied into the conclusion, but several of t ...more
Ever since reading Half Broken Things I've been a fan of Morag Joss - that book about broke my heart. My fiance will tell you that I wept. And part of the reason why I wept, and this is a bit of a spoiler: those characters were so finely and beautifully drawn and I knew I would never see them again. That is not a book I could read more than once.

This book is different from that - different characters, not quite so compelling. It's still a very solid start to a series. I liked Sara Selkirk, gri
I read the last Sara Selkirk, Fruitful Bodies first, so I thought I should go back and read the first two. So, now I know how Sara and Andrew met. The story was ok. I kept picturing the creepy guy who raped Lisbeth in Dragon Tattoo whenever the story was about the slob of a headmaster, but that's just me.
Lori Baldi
I started this a couple of weeks ago. An engaging story and I know someone who will enjoy the classical music element. But much could be improved.
This is the first in a series of mysteries - I may have seen it recommended on this site, or on Amazon - I don't remember. (This is a weird review to write because I thought I had already written it...!) Anyway, I liked the characters (the main character is a cellist, and many of her friends are musicians too, which was an interesting glimpse into that world), and the setting (contemporary Bath, England). Some of it is a little contrived, but there is a power to her writing and characterization ...more
There's a murder in the Baths of Bath, in modern times. Sara Selkirk, who is playing music at the time, discovers the body and because she knows so many of the suspects, winds up trying to solve the mystery and other loose ends in her life.
It's not a bad mystery - there's a lot of old history, some musician references and a bit of smuggling and other scandals. It's just, um, not outstanding either.
I don't know why I haven't read more of her books, though. She's not bad.
A stylishly written mystery, set in Bath (not to give too much away, but a body turns up in the ancient Roman baths...) and featuring a professional cellist as heroine.
No major flaws... I guess it was just a little low-key for my taste; I didn't have strong feelings about any of the characters, or any particular sense of urgency about the plot. If you like cozies with a bit of a contemporary edge (but only a bit), you might really enjoy this one.
Linda Thompson
I came across this author recently when I saw a short play she had written on Sky, and heard her talk about her novels. This is the first in a trilogy, an English murder mystery- not a thriller by any means - set in Bath, and featuring cellist Sarah Selkirk as an amateur detective. I found it enjoyable enough to want to read the other two books, but will also explore some of her work in a different genre.
Horrible. Badly written, it skips from one thing to another without any obvious reason, new characters pop out of thin air with no explanation, dialogues are written as monologues most of the time, where characters answer questions that have not even been asked by any other characters and so on. I couldn't go past page 60, it was too much of a waste of time.
I enjoyed the characters in this light mystery (set in Bath, England). The principal character is a musician and her artistic challenges added an interesting element to the story. I found I was much more curious about how she was going to "regain her musical mojo" than "who dun it." All in all, a pleasant, satisfying, light novel.
Couldn't even start this one...
A good debut. There were some really gorgeous passages about music, an hilarious heart-attack-that-turns-out-to-be-a-hard-candy-stuck-in-the-armpit scene, and lots of non-cliched descriptions.
Well-written but a little draggy. First in series. Heroine supposedly a major cellist but, according to professional cellist friend, couldn't be with the lack of practice etc.
Talking about a good looking man - Sara thinks "We are simply not designed to withstand such men." It really struck me funny. The author has a dry humor and it's hilarious.
This is the first in the Sara Selkirk mystery series -- but later books were not as appealing to me.
Had a hard time grabbing my attention with this one. Maybe I'll pick it up again one of these days.
Sarah Pottenger
For a murder mystery, it moved awfully slow. I felt no need to read any more of these.
This book was good enough that I have ordered another one in the series.
Cindy Smith
nothing particularly bad about it, just not my type of mystery.
Paulette Ponte
Writing's ok, but not a thriller and very slow moving.
Sara Selkirk mystery set in Bath - okay for the genre
Sep 28, 2007 Femmy marked it as interested
mystery and music. sounds interesting...
Klf Barrett
Klf Barrett is currently reading it
Jun 25, 2015
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She is the author of six novels, including the Sara Selkirk series, and the Silver Dagger winning Half Broken Things. She began writing in 1996 after a short story of hers was runner-up in a national competition sponsored by Good Housekeeping magazine. A visit to the Roman Baths with crime writer P.D. James germinated the plot of her first novel, Funeral Music, the first in the Sara Selkirk series ...more
More about Morag Joss...

Other Books in the Series

Sarah Selkirk Mystery (3 books)
  • Fearful Symmetry
  • Fruitful Bodies
Half Broken Things Among the Missing Our Picnics in the Sun The Night Following Puccini's Ghosts

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