My review of Charlotte MacLeod’s Trouble In the Brasses


While stranded in the wilderness, an orchestra confronts a killer in its ranks.

Although he is a decorated officer of the Mounted Police, Madoc Rhys’s tin ear has long been an embarrassment to his musically fixated family. But when his father’s orchestra needs a policeman, the Mountie gets a chance to make daddy proud. It began as pranks among the brass instruments, but something is rotten inside the Wagstaffe Symphony, and is about to graduate to something criminal. Called in to look into the tensions within the group, Madoc arrives just in time to see the French horn player keel over.

The death appears natural, and the orchestra boards the plane to its next engagement. But when a storm forces them to make an emergency landing and take shelter in an eerie old lodge, the extent of the danger becomes clear. Madoc may never understand music, but he has a good ear for murder, and is about to show off his chops.

Another delightful Charlotte MacLeod novel. I read this before, back when I was in high school, not long after it came out. I liked it as much as I remembered, even if I couldn’t remember the particular points of the story. Madoc and his family are absolutely wonderful characters. My main quibble with this story is that there are too many characters (~around 20 at the lodge alone) to really allow for any of them to be fully developed. Many of them just sort of blended into one another in the background. With no real motivation for the murders revealed until the very ending, it did seem a tad rushed at the end. Still, it was well written and paced quickly.

The eBook was formatted well, but there were several spelling mistakes. It appears the OCR occasionally got ‘the’ confused with ‘me’.