The setting for Blair McDowell’s book, ‘Sonata’,
is the spectacular city of Vancouver with its vibrant multicultural
population and its rich musical life. Vancouver is close to Blair's own
home on Canada’s West Coast, and an area with which she is intimately
familiar. In her romantic suspense novel, ‘Sonata’,
Blair McDowell’s love of music comes into play, and is intricately
woven into this story of mystery and romance.
Night Owl Reviews - 4 Stars I found Sonata to be a charming novel that
left me laughing out loud in parts and gnawing nails in others. It was a
delight to read. My only suggestion is to enjoy this novel with the
music of a good cello. It makes it just that more perfect....More
Raymond Mathiesen Book Reviews - 4 Stars Blair McDowell has written an entertaining and interesting romance/crime novel that raises a variety of issues worthy of consideration.McDowell looks at personal issues, such as increasing maturity and love, but also considers the wider issues of career, the family, victims of crime and society.McDowell shows a wise and considered understanding of the life of a musician, but also of life itself.The novel is paced and structured well, and the characters are realistic.I am happy to award this book 4 out of 5 stars....More
The Wormhole Review This was a
fantastic read. Fast paced and well written. The pages flew by. I am
a mystery reader and was worried at the start that it was going to be
predictable, I am pleased to say that although it was not hard to figure
out who the thief was, the story was captivating and entertaining. ....More
Lissette E. Manning Review Hugh was definitely an unexpected surprise. I’ve got to admit that his
relationship with Alyssa was something I never saw coming. Still, her
part of the story is sure to tug on your heartstrings. Truly intriguing,
this is a book that will draw your attention, and pull you along on a
very thrilling ride. ....More
Deb Sanders Romance SONATA is a delightful journey into the unknown where romance leads the
way through a murky set of events. If you like Romantic Suspense, you
should enjoy this fast paced read. ....More
The mystery in this romantic suspense is more of a “why did he do it”
than a “whodunnit”, as the perpetrator is obvious almost instantly.
However, the totality of his motivations are obscured until the end.. ....More
Wow! First let me say that I love Buttercup! This book went way beyond my expectations. ....More
A jewel heist… When
renowned concert artist, Sayuri McAllister, returns to the west coast
of Canada after an absence of five years, she discovers her family home
has been a broken into and jewelry worth two million dollars is missing.
Michael Donovan, Sayuri’s old high school flame, now a detective with the Vancouver Police Department, is the officer in charge of the case.
What chance can he have… Michael takes one look at Sayuri and falls in love with her all
over again. But they parted in anger years ago and Sayuri is no longer
the innocent girl he once knew. What chance can there be for a Vancouver
cop with someone as famous as Sayuri McAllister? Especially when that
cop is investigating her family and friends?
An unexpected marriage… Then Sayuri’s widowed father, Sean, marries Alyssa James, a woman Sayuri has never even met. The three live uneasily together in the Point Grey mansion until the unexpected arrival of Alyssa’s brother, Hugh James, a devastatingly handsome, charming Irishman who immediately begins a campaign to bed and wed the delicious and wealthy Sayuri.
Things take a dangerous turn… Accidents begin to happen. Or are they accidents? Nothing is as it seems. Michael distrusts Hugh James and fears that Sayuri’s life may be in danger.
The following excerpt takes place the first time that Sayuri goes to Michael’s apartment.
As they went down in the elevator and across to the park, Michael spoke to the dog, “So far so good. We’ve got her in my apartment. I expect your full cooperation tonight. Whatever happens you are not to climb on the bed, should I get so lucky, or slobber all over Sayuri. If there’s any slobbering to be done, I’ll do it. Got it, buddy?”
Buttercup wagged her tail furiously, nearly knocking over a passing pedestrian.
Michael thought about how Sayuri had looked when she answered the door. So cool and composed. Delectable. Good enough to eat. Down boy, he reminded himself. Don’t blow it now. You’ve got her this far.
Taking a deep breath he muttered, “Keep it cool.” Then he looked at his dog. “Okay, Buttercup, do your thing so we can get back up there.”
She heard the key in the lock and a moment later man and dog were back in the room. Buttercup trotted over to Sayuri and leaned against her, looking up at her adoringly with one blue and one brown eye.
“That was quick,” Sayuri commented as she scratched the dog behind her ears.
“She was anxious to get back to you. We don’t often have visitors. Actually, I’m surprised at her reaction to you. She usually hides under the bed when there’s anyone she doesn’t know in the apartment.”
“Under the bed? I can’t believe she can get all that bulk under a bed. Just what kind of dog is she? I’ve never seen anything like her. She’s huge. And those eyes are amazing.”
Sayuri moved to the armchair and sat down. Buttercup followed her and put her massive head in Sayuri’s lap.
“Clearly she’s fallen in love with you. The vet thought she was probably half Malamute and half Newfoundland, but I’m pretty sure there’s some wolf in the mixture. And the two different color eyes are unusual, but they do happen, particularly in those breeds.”
“Did you say wolf?”
“Watch.” Michael came over to the dog, knelt down beside her and put his arm around her. He lifted his head back and started to howl. The dog threw her head straight back and joined him. The sound was at one and the same time musical and eerie.
“Wow.” Sayuri stared at the dog. “I haven’t heard anything like that since I was twelve years old and went on a canoeing trip up Desolation Sound with my father. We could hear the wolves from our campsite every night. I loved the sound.”
“Don’t let her howl give you any ideas about Buttercup’s personality. Her wolf genes begin and end with her howl. She’s a complete wimp.”
“She’s a big dog for an apartment dweller.”
“Yes, well, I didn’t exactly choose her. She just sort of happened.” Michael paused. You see, I’m in the R.A.A. Unit.”
“Robbery, Assault, Arson. We got an anonymous call that there was a break and enter in progress at an apartment house on the east side. When my partner and I answered the call, we didn’t find a robbery in progress. What we found was found a room full of people cutting and bagging cocaine. We called immediately for backup, but before it could come, gun fire was exchanged and people got hurt. It wasn’t supposed to have happened that way.”
Michael paused and frowned. Sayuri wondered if he was going to say anything more.
Then he sighed. “When it was all sorted out, as we were to leaving the scene I heard whimpering. I pulled this small scrawny shivering mass of matted fur out from under the bed. I was supposed to take her to the SPCA, but I didn’t. I took her home with me. She couldn’t have been more than two months old and she was half starved and filthy. I fed her and bathed her and the next day I took her to the vet for a checkup. He said there was nothing wrong with her that food and love wouldn’t cure.”
“So you had a dog.”
“I had a dog. I had no idea at the time she was going to grow into a giant hairy mammoth.” This was spoken with obvious affection as he ruffled the dog’s head.
“But her name?”
“Just look at her.”
Sayuri studied the dog. She had fur as thick as a bear’s, only longer. Her underbelly was white and everywhere else she was brown and black and white in large splotches. “I don’t get it.”
“Look under her chin.”
Sayuri laughed. “Of course.” There was a large spot of bright yellow there.
The dog, tired of being the object of so much attention, moved to the fireplace, circled three times and plopped down in front of it.