If you haven’t already, I recommend reading the other reviews of Melody’s books before checking out this one:
- Book Review #13: “No Ordinary Sound: A Melody Classic”
- Book Review #14: “Never Stop Singing: A Melody Classic 2”
- Book Review #34: “Music in My Heart: My Journey with Melody”
This is Melody’s first mystery story, and I was just blown away. I read this entire book in one sitting this past Saturday night – Something that hasn’t happened in a very, very long time.
The book is set in May 1965, and Melody is going through something that we all have struggled with – Maintaining old relationships/friendships while trying to be nice and make new friends. We see her trying to keep up her relationship with her 12-year-old cousin, Val, but also admiring 14-year-old Leah, wanting to be friends with her, too. Val gets really jealous because she starts to become the third wheel, and Melody is caught in the middle. But, there’s a mystery to solve!
Melody starts to suspect that Leah is keeping several secrets, particularly about her grandfather, Dr. Roth. Slowly, Melody learns Dr. Roth escaped Poland and the Nazis during World War II. As a botanist, he wanted to save as many plants as he could. Along the way, Melody gets an education about the Jewish faith, Hebrew, and the horrors of war. She makes a connection with Leah around family, and Melody learns that she can balance time with family as well as friends.
All of these secrets are coming to light while Melody’s Poppa is busy preparing for the Belle Isle Flower Show at the breathtaking conservancy. Several mysterious and suspicious events occur while the exhibition is being set up, and Poppa is targeted because he’s the only black man in the show. Are there other suspects? Will Poppa be arrested?
This book was a bit complex, but I was very impressed in how it all pulled together. I was floored by the amount of historical detail the author packed into this book! She expertly weaved together the worlds of Europe and the United States, as well as the worlds of African-Americans and Jewish people during those time periods. And to make it all make sense, that’s impressive to me.
I hope more Melody mysteries are published – I want more!
4 1/2 out of 5 stars.
Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂