By Lorie Ham
AmErica House Publishers - October, 2000
ISBN: 1893162931 - Trade Paperback

Mystery / Amateur Sleuth


Reviewed by: Jo Rogers, MyShelf.Com
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AmErica House will release a new mystery in October that marks an auspicious debut by Lorie Ham.  Murder in Four Part Harmony introduces us to charming Alexandra Walters, gospel singer and amateur sleuth.  A divorced mother of one, Alex has just returned from a tour, the first one she has made without her four-year-old daughter, Jessica.  Gospel music is not the best-paying career on earth, but Alex still feels called to that ministry, and feels she cannot give it up.  So, to make ends meet, she has rented out rooms in her huge home to tenants who have also become friends.  Most need help from time to time, and Alex has always been in the business of helping people.


When long-time friend, Jerry Web, calls and says he has been accused of murdering his cousin, Tony Web, Alex rushes to his aid, calling in lawyer cousin Paul Unruh, who calls in a mutual friend of his and Alex's, Stephen Carlucci, the best private investgator in Donlyn, Calfornia.  Stephen would like to be more than a friend to Alex, and so would Jerry Web, despite the fact he's married.  Gospel singers don't all practice what they sing.  Alex had a crush on Jerry when she was a teenager, and she still harbors mixed feelings for him.  She isn't sure she should be close to him, but when the proprietor of the local bed-and-breakfast kicks Jerry out, she feels compelled to put him up with one of her tenants in the apartment over her garage.  And she is determined to prove Jerry's innocence.


However, that isn't as easy as it looks.  Tony Web died from an allergic reaction to penicillin.  Only family members and close friends knew the severity of his allergy, though he wore a gold medic alert bracelet.  Still, someone had slipped him a fatal dose of the antibiotic.  Before his death, Tony had argued with Jerry and had attempted to blackmail him.  Jerry had been heard  threatening Tony's life if he went to Jerry's father for the blackmail.  This problem is compounded when Alex finds out Jerry had had a prescription for penicillin for a throat infection.  On top of that, Alex receives a warning to lay off by phone, and then by note when her kidnapped cat, Watson, comes home.


From the opening page of the prologue to the last word, this book will keep you guessing.  Lorie Ham not only does a good job of not revealing the killer until the very last, she gives us an insight into the world of gospel music that none but those who have been there could imagine.  I'm glad I had just a short time to read it; it gave me a good excuse for not putting it down!  I look forward to more mysteries by this very talented author.

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