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Morag Joss began writing in 1996. She is the creator of the three Sara Selkirk novels, the first of which, Funeral Music, was shortlisted for a Dilys Award by the USA Mystery Booksellers Association. Her fourth novel, Half Broken Things, won the 2003 Silver Dagger Award and was adapted as a film for UK television in 2007. In 2008 she was a Heinrich Boll Writer in Residence on Achill Island, Ireland, where she worked on her sixth novel The Night Following, which was one of six finalists from over six hundred submissions for the Edgar Award for Best Novel 2009.
When a bridge collapses in the Highlands of Scotland, dozens of people vanish into the river below. A car hired by a woman tourist was filmed pulling onto the bridge moments before it fell. Now numbered among the missing, the woman seizes her chance to start her life over. But her new path takes her no farther than a wooden cabin on the riverbank, where she seeks rebirth and freedom from her old self. There she lives with Silva, an illegal immigrant whose husband and daughter have not been seen since the day of the bridge's collapse. The women are befriended by the boatman Ron, and together they create a fragile sanctuary. Lost souls all, they keep secrets from each other, yet connect in ways none of them expects, as they strive to reconcile their past histories with the present and shape for themselves an elusive, longed-for future.
For one woman, no matter what has happened through the decades, the music will always linger Burnhead is an inconspicuous town on the Scottish coast, but for Lila Du Cann, it is the setting for an opera that will change her life forever. When Lila returns to Burnhead to bury her father, she thinks back to 1960, when she fell in love for the first time. Her parents are in a failing marriage. Lila's mother, Fleur, splits time between two hobbies: arguing with her husband about life and money and retreating to her music room to listen to Puccini's Turandot. Lila's family, however, is thrown a lifeline when her charismatic and flamboyant uncle arrives from London with a hare-brained idea: an amateur staging of Turandot. With Fleur in the title role and Lila as the slave girl Liu, the production's most intriguing casting is George's handsome young student Joe Foscari as the tenor lead, Prince Calaf. Lila quickly falls for him and hopes that he feels the same about her. As opening night looms, secrets are exposed, high hopes are torn apart, and Lila's painful coming-of-age brings with it devastating lifelong consequences.
Winner of the CWA Silver Dagger Award: A desire for a home can drive people to do things that they never thought possible Family is a powerful force. It's only when you don't have one that you realize how strong the bonds truly are. Michael, Jean, and Steph all have learned this the hard way. Michael, abandoned as a child, steals from churches just to make ends meet in his low-rent apartment. Jean lives as a lonely caretaker, watching over vast houses while their rich owners are away. Steph is pregnant and trapped in an abusive relationship. However, in an instant, a life can change forever. When Steph leaves her boyfriend, she finds a home and then a family with Michael, who is overjoyed. Meanwhile, Jean grows more and more comfortable in her current residence, taking proxy ownership rather than facing mandatory retirement. She begins telling stories of a son and soon places an ad in search of one. When Michael realizes what she is up to, he and Steph move in with her, and the three form an ad-hoc family. But reality is never far in this familial fantasy, and it is about to come calling.
After an aging musician becomes the chief suspect in a murder investigation, only her former pupil can save her Sara Selkirk lives one of the most complicated lives in Bath. When she isn't performing to rave reviews as a cellist, she must navigate the troubled waters of small-town life, a complicated relationship with the newly single amateur cellist DCI Andrew Poole, and the occasional murder. Another problem is heaped on when she discovers her former teacher Joyce Cruikshank trapped in the clutches of alcoholism. Sara decides to take her in and help her get the therapy she needs in the idyllic English spa town of Bath. Dr. Golightly, the charismatic director of the Sulis Clinic, a magnet for the rich and supposedly unwell, claims that its mix of rest, art therapy, and organic cuisine is a potent one for well-being, and Sara arranges for Joyce to be admitted. But when Joyce is implicated in the murder of a Japanese tourist who is found dead in a cupboard in a Bath pub, Sara's relationship with Andrew comes under strain. Then the Sulis patients begin to die, and Dr. Golightly's reputation is on the brink of collapse. Sara is drawn further into the investigationand into danger.
The town of Bath has taken on a new melody: murder The elegant but sedate city of Bath might not be an obvious place for an international musician to settle down, but Sara Selkirk finds herself drawn back to the town. It doesn't hurt that the dreamy DCI Andrew Poole, Sara's friend and only pupil, lives there. In this, the second of Morag Joss's Sara Selkirk Mysteries, Joss's Bath is once again the city that readers want to get lost in. Sara's attraction to Andrew leads her to do something a musician of her caliber would never normally do: She joins him in the Circus Opera Group, Bath's community opera society. This isn't Covent Garden. The interpersonal politics of aging divas, two vain composers, and an overeager protegee are plenty for Sara to deal withmurder, on the other hand, is something else entirely. As the investigation preoccupying Andrew hits closer to home for Sara, it is up to her to find the pattern in the killings before it's too late.
When a world-renowned cellist stumbles across the still-warm body of a museum director in the natural pools, the entire town of Bath takes notice Life has been difficult for cellist Sara Selkirk. Since her partner's death, she has lost none of her technical virtuosity, but her playing has missed that essential elementpassion. Because of this, she has stayed out of the limelight, giving only one performance for a private charity event at the beautiful and ancient Pump Room in Bath. The director of the Roman Baths Museum is the contentious and offensive Matthew Sawyer, a man who makes enemies everywhere he goes. When Sara returns to the Pump Room the morning after her performance, she finds Sawyer's body in the Sacred Spring that fills the baths. Grudgingly conducting the case is her music student, the attractive detective DCI Andrew Poole. Now Sara must figure out who among the former director's many detractors would end his life.Funeral Music proves to be an accomplished and atmospheric debut for author Morag Joss.
"e;Whenever an accident or natural disaster occurs from which bodies may never be recovered, there is always somebody for whom it becomes a chance to disappear. There is always somebody who, believing that vanishing from one life is the way to enter a better one, will choose to be presumed among the missing; somebody who would rather be thought dead than have to say 'I'm leaving you.'"e; A pregnant woman, believed killed in a bridge accident in the Scottish highlands, seizes her chance to disappear from her uncaring husband. Determined to safeguard her baby's future and reinvent herself, she befriends illegal immigrant Silva, whose husband Stefan and daughter Anna, as she alone knows, have died in her place. As the bridge is rebuilt, the two women build a precarious existence in a makeshift home by the river. While Silva waits for Stefan and Anna's return and the pregnant woman awaits the birth of her child, they are helped by the boatman, Ron, whose devotion to them masks his guilt for a past disaster for which he must atone. Each of them having crossed some bridge in retreat from the world, each seeking an ever-elusive peace of mind and struggling with displacement and grief, together the three exiles conjure an unstable mix of trust and distrust, compounded by love and jealousy, both parental and sexual. With the discovery of Stefan's and Anna's bodies in the river, the tension in their uneasy triangle mounts inexorably and unbearably. With the birth of the new baby only days, then hours away, it finally breaks.
On a blustery April day, the wife of a doctor discovers that her husband has been having an affair. Moments later, driving along a country road, she fails to see sixty-one-year-old Ruth Mitchell up ahead, riding her bicycle. She hits her, killing her instantly, and drives away. Horrified by what she has done, she turns her attention to Ruth's bereaved husband, a man as unhinged by grief as she herself is by guilt. And as she insinuates herself into his life, he starts to believe that, for reasons beyond his understanding, his wife has returned to him.