Thursday, December 9, 2010

Review: First in Gus LeGarde Series A Winner!

Double Forte'
A Gus LeGarde Mystery



By Aaron Paul Lazar


When you get to do a marathon of books, it’s logical to start at the beginning of a series. Having read and thoroughly enjoyed the first Sam Moore Mystery, I next turned to Double Forte' which is the first in the Gus LeGarde series. I must confess that the title and the subsequent role that music plays in this series gave it some extra points for me.

In fact, Gus LeGarde is a college professor of music, so plan to find this beautiful addition to Lazar's books... We may not be able to hear the notes, but we can see how the music affects him and his family’s life, especially when Gus’ grandson cries, “I called and called, Opa, but you didn’t come. I call you and Mummy, dubbew fortay—he sobbed.” (p. 170)

Gus’ grandson knew that he should cry loudly when he couldn’t find anybody, based upon his ongoing lessons of music terminology...to me, that is soooo cool!

Double Forte': A Gus LeGarde MysteryAnyway...to the story... Gus has his daughter, son-in-law and Johnny living with him along with a special character, Siegfried, who is Gus’ brother-in-law and friend. Gus’ wife had died five years ago, although he still had strong loving feelings, missing her.

Gus and Siegfried were out skiing when they discovered a dog that had been caught in a trap. Both rushed to help her. Freddie, Gus’ daughter, was a vet, so Gus went to a nearby house to call her in advance to meet them at her clinic. While getting a very poor reception from the occupant, he was allowed to use the phone, but he also thought he heard and perhaps saw a child...

After getting the dog taken care of, Gus began to think and wonder about what he had possibly seen. It bothered him so much that he began to investigate and ultimately found a child that was held captive. Taking her when he left, he opened the gates to the anger of a mad man, her father, who had, they found, taken the child from her mother.

It was because of the child that Gus formally met Camille. Camille was Gus’ secretary’s daughter, who, playing matchmaker, was very anxious to have the two meet. But both had a background that had left much pain and despair and had not been helpful in that activity.

Still Gus, for the first time since his wife had died, realized that he was attracted to Camille...and then felt the guilt engulf him later...

Camille was a caseworker for children who needed an immediate safe home, so she was asked to take the rescued child; however, Sadie had latched on to Gus as her savior so he was called upon to spend time with her—and thus the relationship to Camille began to be closer.

The father was causing major problems, threatening Gus and his family. Camille was also in need of protection as she was unable to find a foster home and was keeping Sadie herself.

In the meantime, Freddie’s husband’s business partner was missing and then later found dead. And news was coming in that Sadie’s mother had apparently been murdered. Was there just one man out there killing whoever got in his way?

The great thing about Lazar's books is his storytelling and writing ability. He has created characters that you immediately want to know more--making the series ready for followers--and he spends time allowing you to see them at home, at work and within the family and within themselves! When Gus is still mourning his wife after five years, you know that if he is now looking toward Camille, it is going to be a delightful romantic story, especially when he learns of the abuse of Camille's first husband--and her secret!

No doubts in my mind...Double Forte' is great and the series is bound to get better! Especially, since I've already read the next book, which will be coming soon!

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G. A. Bixler