Murder in G Major, written by Alexia Gordon is a murder-mystery book I have yet to complete reading. I have read most of it, but I am saving the end till I write the beginning of this article. I’d like to see how my impressions of the book change when the culprit is revealed at the end, because often the ending of a mystery book is what makes or breaks the story.
With this book in particular, there are so many possible suspects it’s hard to pin down whodunit. This is both good and bad. With so many people, so many possibilities arise for the suspect, and it really gets me excited to find out which ones are guilty. But there are also enough suspects that it ends up feeling difficult to choose, as all of them might be the murderer, so they all have somewhat equal amounts of evidence against them, so it’s not too obvious. This might make the ending feel underwhelming if the most incriminating evidence pointed to everyone, not just the actual killer. For instance, everyone seems to know lots about poison—the main murder weapon of choice. There’s also personality to consider, and while some characters are pretty calm and collected, some are actually crazy. Including a character that frequently poisons people, and everyone seems to be just fine with it. It leaves you wondering if this is too throw you off or a piece of evidence to take into account.
To me, the biggest pet peeve about the ending of mystery books is whether or not the one searching for the murderer actually has a moment of connecting the dots and finding the true killer, or if they just stumble onto the killer and they reveal to the investigator their entire plan. It’s so much more satisfying when everything the main character has been doing comes together and pays off. It feels off when their kidnapped or trapped by the murderer and they just reveal their whole plan to them like a Scooby Doo character. Murder in G Major feels like it’s going to be the latter, but if the story’s executed well, it’ll probably still be enjoyable to read.
After finishing the book, a couple things stood out. One, the book struck a pretty satisfying middle ground between a Scooby Doo ending, and an “all the evidence connects” ending. The main character connects the dots and realises the true killer, and proceeds in attempting to get a confession from them and it’s pretty satisfying to read. Then the Scooby Doo part kicks in and the murderer tries to kill the main character and in the process confesses to every single murder and explains their entire plan. This might have ruined the ending if—spoilers—the killer didn’t get away to set up the sequel, and it worked well. The only real gripe I have with the ending is it feels like there’s going to be a much bigger twist… and then it never happens. Again, it would feel worse if it hadn’t setting up for book two, and that leads into my second point:
The identity of the murderer wasn’t a big twist. For that reason, it actually ended up not really being predictable. While I was reading the book and trying to guess the killer myself, I was looking for the least likely but still possible suspect. But I hadn’t seriously considered the actual killer, because no real evidence pointed to them until very late chapters, then it got obvious. Then, when the evidence obviously started pointing to them, it felt like less and less of a twist when the main character realized who the murderer was. It wasn’t a bad ending, it was just a little unsatisfying. But Murder in G Major was nonetheless a fun book to read, it used ideas from lots of different genres, and made an interesting and exciting story, where the mystery was only a part of the charm.