Monday, October 28, 2013

The Cantor Wore Crinolines

The Cantor Wore Crinolines

A Liturgical Mystery
Mark Schweizer

St. James Music Press
Tyson, North Carolina

ISBN: 978-0-9844846-7-6
Released to bookstores 2013

Released to Amazon- January 2014
$ 12.95

204 pages

The murder of four women whose bodies where placed in four separate vacant houses is a crime in a novel read by an exclusive book club the has their own website. However, when three bodies of women are found in vacant houses in the small community of St. Germaine, North Carolina, does that mean that someone is going to be murdered?

Three houses have been auctioned off in St. Germaine for unpaid taxes. No one had been allowed to enter the houses to examine them closely so for each new buyer, really doesn't know what they will find when they enter the house. Those who bid on these houses are just guessing at the condition inside.

After the first new buyer enters their house, the local law enforcement is called. In a closet there is the body of a woman. She is nicely dressed and there is no obvious reason for her death. Known only to the police though, is that she is missing one earring.

Just like the story of the three bears, as each new owner enters their house, a well-dressed woman is found in a closet, missing an earring, with no obvious reason for her death. Who are these women? Wouldn't someone notice that each of them was missing?
For Sheriff Hayden Konig, life is quiet contentment is this small town. There is not usually much crime and personally, he has it all. With a beautiful home, money in the bank, a wonderful wife, and a dog, he has taken a sabbatical from his job as church organist and choir director for St. Barnabas Episcopal Church where his gun is kept in the organ bench.
With recent changes in the leadership of the church, he felt most comfortable taking a leave-of-absence until things settled. Now, the church has a new interim, Father Dressler who supposedly wants to change to the Anglo-Catholic tradition but no one is certain what that really means.
Hayden's wife,Meg is well-respected in the community. Her mother, Ruby notices that these deaths are very similar to a recently read book recommended by a book club where she is being excluded from joining.
“The Cantor Wore Crinolines” is a comical mystery which is perfect for those who are over educated in the field of church music.
Referring to some of the classical choral works as warm-ups or recommendations is sometimes invigorating. Sure, using F. Melius Christiansen's "Lamb of God" as a choir warm-up? I have nightmares of learning this particular selection eons ago with a director who knew that for the piece to be sung well, everyone must know their music, listen for blending, and have eyes on the conductor at all times.
This is book number twelve in this series featuring Hayden Konig, organist/sheriff. The relationships progress through the books which are "fun" reading with a story in the style of Raymond Chandler within the external mystery of the murders. The entire selection is just relaxing and enjoyable to read.
For someone not acquainted with this series, I would recommend to at least read the first few books in this series before reading this one to better understand the characters. This book is currently only available at and independent bookstores like The Mystery Bookstore on 13th Street in Omaha. It will be available on Amazon and other on-line sellers in January.
What do you give your favorite music teacher or church organist for Christmas? Why not purchase for them these books by Mark Schweizer? They would thoroughly enjoy his off-beat humor in a harmonious way.

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