Fascinating characters facing inner turmoil while coping with extraordinary circumstances make the U.S. debut of Joss' series a first-rate read.

World-class cellist Sara Selkirk lives quietly in Bath, an English resort town with a rich history. Sara sometimes gives cello lessons to Andrew, a married police officer, but she has not played professionally since a breakdown abruptly stopped a performance months previously. As the book opens, Sara's anxious about the duet she's promised to play with her friend James. Shortly after the performance, someone is murdered and James is accused of the crime. This puts Sara and Andrew at odds and compels Sara to do some sleuthing of her own.

With astute depth, Joss explores the effect of grief on creativity. But Sara and Andrew's relationship, although promising, doesn't play out as convincingly as the rest of the book. (Apr., 352 pp., $6.99)
Reviewed by: 
Cindy Harrison