Author: Erica Miner
www.ericaminer.com

Reviewed By: Georgia Richardson

Erica Miner’s reputation for engaging the reader was sealed with her two previous novels, “Travels with My Lovers” and “FourEver Friends.”

An award-winning author, screenwriter, and lecturer, Erica Miner used The New York Metropolitan Opera house as the backdrop for this intriguing new work of fiction, “Murder in the Pit.” Drawing from her own experience as a former violinist with the same, Miner details the day-to-day operations of the Met, and also defines each employee’s assigned task, duty, or responsibility enabling one to see the authentic hierarchy and to feel intense emotions involved. This was a big plus for the unfamiliar.

The story opens with Julia Kogan, a 22-year old violinist preparing to give her debut performance at the Metropolitan Opera house. Beautiful and extremely talented, Julia’s life revolves around practicing her violin and perfecting her craft. She has room for nothing more. At a very tender young age, Julia witnessed the senseless murder of her father and since then, refuses to be touched, held, or loved. Music is her only lover.

There is one person in her life, however; that Julia adores—Abel Trudeau—a world-famous conductor and mentor who plays the obvious role of surrogate father. Before the show, Abel gives Julia two gifts; one a beautiful pin, the other sheet music Abel has composed to commemorate her debut. As the debut begins, Julia sees a glimmer of something shiny in the uppermost closed section of the opera house. An instant later, an assassin’s bullet takes the life of Abel, Julia’s beloved mentor and friend.

With only circumstantial evidence, Julia’s closest friend, Sidney Richter, is arrested within hours for Abel’s murder. It seems his fate is sealed. Julia, on the other hand, is convinced of his innocence and intervenes collaborating with NYPD detective Larry Somers, her best friend and roommate Katie, and also Charlie; an admirer and someone who was always at her side with open arms.

Through the ensuing chapters, danger is Julia’s constant companion on stage and off, leaving the reader suspecting every single character capable of the murder and with motive. This book has more twists and turns than an Atlanta freeway, and excitingly so!

Some call this a cozy mystery. I call it hard to put down, engaging, intriguing, and a “who-dun-it” of the most suspenseful kind. There’s nothing “cozy” about this book. Just when you think you have it all figured out, Miner throws you a new twist.

Murder in the Pit left me on the edge of my seat from Chapter 1—and at the end wanting more. Do I recommend this book? Absolutely—but be prepared to read it nonstop. It’s a movie in the making.

Anne Holmes Boomer-in-Chief of NABBW
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