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Slider and Joanna's on-again, off-again romance is off when murder at the Royal London Philharmonica throws them together--in this droll, beguiling police procedural, the fourth in the series by one of the best of the British mystery mavens (Cleveland Plain Dealer). Slider and Joanna's on-again, off-again romance is off when murder at the Royal London Philharmonica throws them together--in this droll, beguiling police procedural, the fourth in the series by one of the best of the British mystery mavens (Cleveland Plain Dealer).


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Slider and Joanna's on-again, off-again romance is off when murder at the Royal London Philharmonica throws them together--in this droll, beguiling police procedural, the fourth in the series by one of the best of the British mystery mavens (Cleveland Plain Dealer). Slider and Joanna's on-again, off-again romance is off when murder at the Royal London Philharmonica throws them together--in this droll, beguiling police procedural, the fourth in the series by one of the best of the British mystery mavens (Cleveland Plain Dealer).

30 review for Grave Music

  1. 4 out of 5

    Deb Jones

    Even though the primary designation of this series is as a police procedural, it is, even more, a study of human beings, their interactions and motivations. The plots are well-drawn and the pace is forward-moving, but never at the expense of the depth of the characters and their experiences. I've read the first four of Cynthia Harrod-Eagles' Bill Slider series and am solidly hooked. I look forward to reading the entire series. Even though the primary designation of this series is as a police procedural, it is, even more, a study of human beings, their interactions and motivations. The plots are well-drawn and the pace is forward-moving, but never at the expense of the depth of the characters and their experiences. I've read the first four of Cynthia Harrod-Eagles' Bill Slider series and am solidly hooked. I look forward to reading the entire series.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lesa

    Detective Inspector Bill Slider and Detective Sergeant Jim Atherton have two different views of their latest investigation in Cynthia Harrod-Eagles' fourth Bill Slider mystery, Dead End. It's another fascinating police procedural with characters who come to life on the page. There's a shooting at St. Augustine's church, and Slider worries because he knows the violinist he loves, Joanna, is performing with the Royal London Philharmonic in that church. But, it's the conductor who is dead, Sir Stefa Detective Inspector Bill Slider and Detective Sergeant Jim Atherton have two different views of their latest investigation in Cynthia Harrod-Eagles' fourth Bill Slider mystery, Dead End. It's another fascinating police procedural with characters who come to life on the page. There's a shooting at St. Augustine's church, and Slider worries because he knows the violinist he loves, Joanna, is performing with the Royal London Philharmonic in that church. But, it's the conductor who is dead, Sir Stefan Radek, a world-famous man, and, according to Joanna, a hateful man. But, Slider's job is to look out for the victim, and find answers, even if people disliked him. Sir Stefan was also a multimillionaire, and his daughter and son-in-law were quite wealthy. "Atherton thought it was a nice change to investigate amongst people whose houses didn't smell of urine." However, Slider looks at it differently. "I've found it depressing to see how badly all these people have behaved, people who ought to know better. Casual sin and casual lawbreaking - drugs, embezzlement, greed, adultery, murder - looting their way through life and dropping the litter behind them like tourists." As always, Harrod-Eagles surprises readers with the killer. It's a logical conclusion, but, still unexpected. It's that unexpectedness that draws me back to this series. There's Slider's unusual way of looking at people, victims and suspects. There's an unusual humor in the books. The police have that black humor that's common with people who see the worst of the world. But, they also exhibit an unusual breadth of knowledge involving music, paintings, poetry. And, Slider and Atherton both have a sadness to them, a feeling of loneliness that comes across on the page. Harrod-Eagles' Bill Slider mysteries are excellent mysteries. Yes, it's fun to watch the mystery unravel and follow along with the police procedural. But, it's the characters, Bill and Atherton and Joanna who have a wisdom and a knowledge that make them human, that bring the books to life.

  3. 4 out of 5

    ElaineY

    So far I find this series very low-key in terms of the murders and the ensuing investigation. I'm, at times, a little bored and will drift off, only to be jolted back to the book by the inclusion of music inserted very badly at the chapter starts. The audio is clearly produced in the 90s as the production is poor. Not the sound quality but the "putting-together". The snippets of music is inserted very abruptly and loudly following a long silence. Then it suddenly cuts out, then another log silen So far I find this series very low-key in terms of the murders and the ensuing investigation. I'm, at times, a little bored and will drift off, only to be jolted back to the book by the inclusion of music inserted very badly at the chapter starts. The audio is clearly produced in the 90s as the production is poor. Not the sound quality but the "putting-together". The snippets of music is inserted very abruptly and loudly following a long silence. Then it suddenly cuts out, then another log silence before the narration begins. While this gives away how dated the book is, I far prefer it to our modern-day audiobooks like James Patterson's Alex Cross where the chapter start music continues long into the narration, making it very intrusive and mars my listening pleasure. Storywise, this was average. The only thing that makes you want to start with the first book is Slider's evolving relationship he has with Joanna while he's married to another woman. Murder plotwise, you could start with any book, IMO, and not miss out on anything significant.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    I enjoyed this British crime drama, it was the first in the series I'd read, and I would like to read others though I am not going to immediately run out and buy them, as I'm trying to buy no more books until I read more of the 6000 or so I have. The resolution was unexpected, the detective and his allies were likable, and the story kept me turning pages. Overall, a good mystery. I enjoyed this British crime drama, it was the first in the series I'd read, and I would like to read others though I am not going to immediately run out and buy them, as I'm trying to buy no more books until I read more of the 6000 or so I have. The resolution was unexpected, the detective and his allies were likable, and the story kept me turning pages. Overall, a good mystery.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jon

    I've been reading these in order, enjoying them all. This one was a bit less complicated than the earlier ones, with fewer suspects that were easier to keep straight. Here a world-famous conductor (and completely wicked man) is shot off the podium at an orchestral rehearsal. ("What's the difference between a bull and an orchestra? A bull has horns in front and an arse in back.") With a lot of this kind of humor, very clearly delineated characters, and a band of quirky investigators familiar from I've been reading these in order, enjoying them all. This one was a bit less complicated than the earlier ones, with fewer suspects that were easier to keep straight. Here a world-famous conductor (and completely wicked man) is shot off the podium at an orchestral rehearsal. ("What's the difference between a bull and an orchestra? A bull has horns in front and an arse in back.") With a lot of this kind of humor, very clearly delineated characters, and a band of quirky investigators familiar from earlier books, the police proceed to hunt for the killer. I like books with chapter titles. These are relevant to the plot and most are also humorous groaners: "The Days of Woes and Rises," "A Stroll Down Felony Lane," "There's No Police Like Holmes," and my favorite "If You Can't Live Without Me, Why Aren't You Dead?" And yet, believe it or not, these books have genuinely romantic scenes as well.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Damaskcat

    Sir Stefan Radek is not the most sympathetic of murder victims and Bill Slider has his work cut out to identify the murderer in this complex murder mystery. He is also trying to deal with his divorce and his estrangement from Joanna, the love of his life. As it happens Joanna witnessed the killing as she was playing in the orchestra at the rehearsal at which Radek, the conductor, was shot dead. This is an interesting and well written mystery with plenty of believable – if not always likeable – ch Sir Stefan Radek is not the most sympathetic of murder victims and Bill Slider has his work cut out to identify the murderer in this complex murder mystery. He is also trying to deal with his divorce and his estrangement from Joanna, the love of his life. As it happens Joanna witnessed the killing as she was playing in the orchestra at the rehearsal at which Radek, the conductor, was shot dead. This is an interesting and well written mystery with plenty of believable – if not always likeable – characters. I particularly disliked Radek’s grandson, Marcus, who has to be one of the most obnoxious young men ever created in fiction! I enjoy the touches of, often macabre humour in this entertaining crime series and I like the way the police characters interact – especially Bill Slider himself and his bag carrier, Jim Atherton. The novels in this series can be read in any order but it is interesting to see how the characters develop by reading them in the order they were published. This is the fourth book in the series.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Vic Lauterbach

    This is a well designed and competently written police procedural. The investigation aspect is well done. [Quasi-spoiler alert!] The crime is in the 'not as simple as it looks' category, but guessing that early on won't ruin things. The mystery isn't baffling, but it was good enough to hold my interest. Overall, this is a novel that deserves to be liked more than I did. For reasons I can't explain, I was underwhelmed by it. Some readers may be enthralled by several romantic subplots including DI This is a well designed and competently written police procedural. The investigation aspect is well done. [Quasi-spoiler alert!] The crime is in the 'not as simple as it looks' category, but guessing that early on won't ruin things. The mystery isn't baffling, but it was good enough to hold my interest. Overall, this is a novel that deserves to be liked more than I did. For reasons I can't explain, I was underwhelmed by it. Some readers may be enthralled by several romantic subplots including DI Bill Slider's ongoing romance with Jo, who is one of many witnesses to the crime, but those elements didn't add much interest for me. Whether you enjoy this one enough to continue reading the series boils down to your taste in mysteries, so I can recommend it. If you like the genre, you may really enjoy this book.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Richard

    Inspector Bill Slider investigates the murder of a famous conductor at a concert held in a London church. There are many suspects (including the orchestra and the conductor's family) and the case is difficult to solve. Slider's life is a mess; at the end of the previous book his girlfriend, Joanna, broke up with him because he wouldn't leave his wife and his wife left him taking his 2 children with him to live with another man. Helping Slider investigate, as usual us his partner, Detective Serge Inspector Bill Slider investigates the murder of a famous conductor at a concert held in a London church. There are many suspects (including the orchestra and the conductor's family) and the case is difficult to solve. Slider's life is a mess; at the end of the previous book his girlfriend, Joanna, broke up with him because he wouldn't leave his wife and his wife left him taking his 2 children with him to live with another man. Helping Slider investigate, as usual us his partner, Detective Sergeant Jim Atherton. In addition to an excellent mystery, there is plenty of humor interjected by the author in Slider's reaction to people and the titles of the chapters.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Pgchuis

    I found this a very satisfactory mystery: the solution to the murder of Sir Stefan was a little twisty and turny towards the end, but the final outcome did put to rest things that had niggled me, which I suppose is good plotting. The humour pleases me, although I suspect I miss some of the jokes - I certainly can't place all the allusions. At times it reads as if it is set far in the past (when was it written?) - there are attitudes and turns of phrase which are no longer acceptable (and never sh I found this a very satisfactory mystery: the solution to the murder of Sir Stefan was a little twisty and turny towards the end, but the final outcome did put to rest things that had niggled me, which I suppose is good plotting. The humour pleases me, although I suspect I miss some of the jokes - I certainly can't place all the allusions. At times it reads as if it is set far in the past (when was it written?) - there are attitudes and turns of phrase which are no longer acceptable (and never should have been).

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mrs Christine

    Getting to know the man Bill Slider Bill Slider is being fleshed out story by story. Where will he go in the remaining stories? Glad I accepted my wife’s advice and started reading this series.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Molly

    Would read another in the series. I usually start with number one, but this I happened to get and it is a quick read and liked the humor.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Roberta

    Good series. This is number 4 and known as Dead End in the US.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lila

    I have read about half of the books in this series and am going to go back and read the ones I've missed that are at our library. I have read about half of the books in this series and am going to go back and read the ones I've missed that are at our library.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Maggie

    Great read and unexpected twist Highly recommended.

  15. 4 out of 5

    DolphinBlue

    Consistently entertaining This is a very consistently entertaining series so far. The writing continues to be both intellectual and amusing. In addition to the hilarious chapter titles, here are some clips in the fourth installment that made me guffaw: "He had better things to do than to wait on Mad ivan's thought processes" "if I go tomorrow, I want to go with my stick in my hand." [double entendre]. "The sort of a vast Victorian pile which usually turned out to be either a private school or a lun Consistently entertaining This is a very consistently entertaining series so far. The writing continues to be both intellectual and amusing. In addition to the hilarious chapter titles, here are some clips in the fourth installment that made me guffaw: "He had better things to do than to wait on Mad ivan's thought processes" "if I go tomorrow, I want to go with my stick in my hand." [double entendre]. "The sort of a vast Victorian pile which usually turned out to be either a private school or a lunatic asylum, not slider thought, that there was much difference." "...gathering the ex-rainforest together..." (picking up the newspapers and circulars at his door) "I'm so unlucky I could fall in a barrel of tits and come out sucking my thumb." "Everything in the office seemed to have been chosen to declare that if money was no object, good taste certainly wasn't either." "The drawback to being a human was that pleasure tended to be over quite quickly, while unhappiness went on for great big indigestible lumps of time."

  16. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    London Detective Inspector Bill Strider is down on his luck. His wife has recently left him for another man and Joanna, the woman he's in love with, wants nothing to do with him. He is sent to investigate the murder of world famous (though little liked) conductor, Sir Stefan Radek,who was murdered during a rehearsal of the London Philharmonic orchestra at a neo-Byzantine church. But there's an upside for the Inspector -- it brings him back into contact with Joanna, who is a violinist and was at London Detective Inspector Bill Strider is down on his luck. His wife has recently left him for another man and Joanna, the woman he's in love with, wants nothing to do with him. He is sent to investigate the murder of world famous (though little liked) conductor, Sir Stefan Radek,who was murdered during a rehearsal of the London Philharmonic orchestra at a neo-Byzantine church. But there's an upside for the Inspector -- it brings him back into contact with Joanna, who is a violinist and was at the rehearsal when Radek was murdered . The mystery is complex, full of twists and turns, and the characters are amusing and appealing. I enjoyed the musical world setting and Bill's dour humor.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lynn

    Another Slider--well worked out and fine characterizations. I'm glad the unhappy-marriage subplot was finally resolved. That one dragged on for too long, across too many books. While one can sympathize with the difficulty of the situation, enough already. This one had some nice insights into the music world, but the resolution was a bit problematic. The final act was rather abrupt, which was good for Slider since there was no concrete proof. A surprising resolution of the boss problem, too. Again Another Slider--well worked out and fine characterizations. I'm glad the unhappy-marriage subplot was finally resolved. That one dragged on for too long, across too many books. While one can sympathize with the difficulty of the situation, enough already. This one had some nice insights into the music world, but the resolution was a bit problematic. The final act was rather abrupt, which was good for Slider since there was no concrete proof. A surprising resolution of the boss problem, too. Again, less motivated and clear than some.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Catherine Woodman

    This is a very good series, with Bill Slider as the lead detective and quirky hero. His wife has left him becasue he was never there--becasue of his work, not his affair with another woman, who also leaves him, so he is on his own and he has to sole the mystery of the murder of a famous conductor--well written.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Now that the marriage/affair issue is resolved, I'm liking this series more. The witticisms continue, not as densely packed as a Lord Peter/Harriet Vane novel but very much in evidence and very clever. The plot is interesting. I'm still feeling wary about this series but I hope to be less judgmental in the future. Now that the marriage/affair issue is resolved, I'm liking this series more. The witticisms continue, not as densely packed as a Lord Peter/Harriet Vane novel but very much in evidence and very clever. The plot is interesting. I'm still feeling wary about this series but I hope to be less judgmental in the future.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    Grave Music is a police procedural with plenty of suspects and intersecting threads. It is a competent mystery which I may be underrating because I read books 5 and 6 in the series before reading this one (#4) so know what happens in the personal lives of some of the characters. That takes away a bit of the tension. Still, I zipped through it in a couple days.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Candy Wood

    Police procedural and the classical music scene in London--beginning of good series. Or maybe not, since I see that Goodreads says it's #4. It must have felt like the beginning when I read it, even though I had already read others in the series. Police procedural and the classical music scene in London--beginning of good series. Or maybe not, since I see that Goodreads says it's #4. It must have felt like the beginning when I read it, even though I had already read others in the series.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kyrie

    I love the wordplay in these mysteries. I'd read them just for that, but the plots are well done and so is the back story. I managed to figure out one key part early, but the rest was well hidden and a surprise. I love the wordplay in these mysteries. I'd read them just for that, but the plots are well done and so is the back story. I managed to figure out one key part early, but the rest was well hidden and a surprise.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Alice

    A crucial book in the series as it introduces a significant character. I really enjoy this whole series.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Susan Union

    A compelling, satisfying mystery.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Craig

    I liked this one better than Death Watch. Better writing, better plot, more character depth.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Bettie

    Bettie's Books Bettie's Books

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ruth

    It's amazing the difference in language in this book compared to some of the others I have recently read. It's amazing the difference in language in this book compared to some of the others I have recently read.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Margareth8537

    Read this under its alternative title Dead End. Another entertaining Bill Slider 'policier'. Read this under its alternative title Dead End. Another entertaining Bill Slider 'policier'.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Dana

    Excellent -- clever, humorous writing. I love Bill Slider!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Pam Bales

    Number four in the Bill Slider British police procedural series, again this series is definitely a keeper.

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