Sunday, June 20, 2021

Review: Leisha's Song by Lynn Slaughter


by Lynn Slaughter
Fire & Ice Young Adult Books
YA Mystery
272 pages

JUNE 22nd!!!

Leisha knows something's wrong. Her beloved vocal coach at boarding school would never have resigned and disappeared like this in the midst of preparing her prize students for a major vocal competition. Leisha's determined to find her, make sure she's okay.

Cody, a sensitive cellist, insists on helping her. Sparks fly, clues multiply, and romance blossoms, despite the disapproval of their families.

Leisha's desire to be with Cody and pursue music rather than medicine puts her on a direct collision course with her African-American grandfather, the only parent she's ever had. But an even more immediate threat looms-because as Leisha draws closer to the truth about her teacher's disappearance, she puts her own life in grave danger.



The music academy setting sets the perfect stage for mystery, romance and family struggles.

Leisha is a very talented singer and can't wait to join the upcoming competition, but just when her training is rolling along, her vocal coach disappears. The woman is like a mother to Leisha, and she knows something is wrong despite the school's reassurance that the teacher simple resigned. Together with the last guy she should be crushing on, she tries to figure out the truth behind her teacher's disappearance and deal with personal problems she can no longer ignore.

This is a rich story in so many ways. Not only does it take place in a setting where music fills everyone's lives, but it sweeps into a hard to predict mystery. Then, there is the romance, a bi-racial one which causes many personal problems for Leisha. Lastly, add the family problems, which Leisha needs to struggle with, and there is a wealth of subplots and depth. Something happens on every page, and this not only includes the mystery, which is very hard to predict, but also the emotional front.

Leisha is a lovely character, who is already going against her grandparents by studying music but has taken their other views to heart. The character growth is well done as she comes head-to-head with her grandfather...a man, who is very hard to like. While some characters were pure good in this tale, the grandfather reflects the more realistic problems families can face, and these aren't always easy to solve...if there is a solution. It was a refreshing approach on this front and made Leisha that much more likeable.

This is a book carried by wonderful characters and a well-woven plot. The world building didn't quite pull me in, especially in the first chapters, but the quick pace makes up for that. Unfortunately, the ending was a bit rushed, but that was the only stumbling point on that end. Everything else grabs and creates an intrigue tale to get lost in and enjoy.

And here she is...

After a long career as a professional dancer and dance educator, Lynn Slaughter earned her MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University in 2016. She writes coming-of-age romantic mysteries and is the author of It Should Have Been You, a Silver Falchion finalist; While I Danced, an EPIC finalist; and Leisha’s Song (June 22, 2021, Fire and Ice). Her short story, Missed Cue, appears in Malice Domestic’s 2020 anthology, Murder Most Theatrical. She lives in Kentucky where she’s at work on her next novel, Deadly Setup, and serves as the President of Derby Rotten Scoundrels, the Ohio River Valley chapter of Sisters in Crime.

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