Thursday, July 22, 2021

Sneak Peek - Review Shadow Music by Helaine Mario

September 21st, is the release day for Helaine Mario's Shadow Music, #3 in her novels staring her concert pianist, Maggie O'Shea. Well I recently read the book and fell in love all over again with Maggie and all her friends and I just can't wait until then to share my thoughts. 

But have no fear, this is just to whet your appetite, on release day I'll be back to feature Shadow Music yet again with a special author interview and a #Giveaway. 

So sit back and enjoy my sneak peek review!

Publisher: Oceanview Publishing
Release Date: 9-21-2021
Length: 384pp
Source: Author/Publisher for review
Pre-Order It: Amazon/ B&N


Overcoming loss—finding the courage to move on—trying to stay alive

Late in the Cold War, a young woman escapes from Communist Hungary, vanishing into the night with a priceless painting and a baby girl—setting events in motion from a decades-old secret that will change lives for generations to come.

Many years later, classical pianist Maggie O'Shea is drawn to Cornwall in search of a long-lost Van Gogh and the truth behind her husband's death. A journal from World War II Paris holds many of the answers, but only two people know where the Van Gogh is hidden now—a courageous nun and a man presumed dead.

Set against the backdrop of the international music and art world, Maggie finds herself on a collision course with three dangerous Russians who threaten all she holds dear—including her life and the life of the man she has come to love.

Past and present converge in this haunting tale of loss, courage, love, and revenge.

Perfect for fans of Sandra Brown and Iris Johansen

While the novels in the Maggie O'Shea Mystery Series stand on their own and can be read in any order, the publication sequence is:
The Lost Concerto
Dark Rhapsody
Shadow Music 

My Review:

Shadow Music
Helaine Mario

Book 3 staring Maggie O’Shea is simply amazing atmospheric and poignant full of danger suspense and most of all music. In her author’s note Helaine Mario tells readers that she wants them to fall into Maggie’s story and that is exactly what they’ll do, body and soul.

Budapest 1985: An escape attempt to the west turns tragic when a young woman is killed by Russian soldiers leaving her best friend a nun to make the crossing with the woman’s now motherless infant daughter and priceless treasures from the past.
Present day: World renowned concert pianist, Maggie O’Shea has finally found her music again and has found love again with Colonel Michael Beckett after the tragic death of her husband, Johnny, almost two years before. She’s even considering performing the beautiful and difficult Rachmaninoff Concerto 2 with The New Russian Symphony Orchestra after being asked by their tour arranger Yuri Blankov until she’s visited by a past adversary who tells her that Johnny may still be alive leaving her no choice but to go and find out.
Colonel Michael Beckett has his own problems dealing with the murder of his late best friend’s daughter and finding her missing son, Dov. Never the less he doesn’t want Maggie to go off searching for Johnny but loves and knows her enough to know that there’s no stopping her, even when they learn from their friend and government agent Simon Sugarman that the last case Johnny was working on, a missing Van Gough painting has come to light again.

Helaine Mario takes readers on an incredible journey through time and music with, Shadow Music, her latest novel staring Maggie O’Shea.
Beginning with this master storyteller’s prologue set in late cold war Budapest to a huge plot bomb she drops early in the story to the very last page the action never stops and the speed never slows enough for the audience to catch their breaths between one crisis and another and yet they’re often gifted to the mundane minutia that makes everyday life such a treasure like a sunset, an ocean breeze or a cherished memory. Her wonderful, expressive prose like narrative flows beautifully and her deliciously thrilling storyline will keep her audience engaged and engrossed, excited to connect all the ingenious convoluted plot dots. Her characters are the glue that binds this novel and not only fan favorites like Maggie, Michael, Sugar, Robbie and of course Michael’s three-legged dog Shiloh, but also the newcomers like the troubled teen Dov and even the bad guys. But it’s Maggie and Michael that are, as always, the true standouts, how their love Phoenix like rose from the ashes of their pasts, so inspiring and now maybe in trouble. Then there’s the music, oh the music, and this story focuses on Rachmaninoff and his Piano Concerto 2 one of the most celebrated and difficult works for piano and how Maggie in between personal pitfalls, dodging danger and bad guys manages to bring it to life. Music is at the heart and soul of every one of Helaine’s Maggie O’Shea books and Shadow Music is the perfect Cadence for her (so-far) three-part symphony.
Shadow Music stands well alone but for deeper character and storyline understanding read the novels, The Lost Concerto, Dark Rhapsody and Shadow Music in order.
Fans of women’s fiction, romantic suspense and fans of Nora Roberts, Iris Johansen and Sandra Brown will love Shadow Music and Helaine Mario.


About the author:
Best-selling author Helaine Mario grew up in New York City and is a graduate of Boston University. A passionate advocate for women's and children's issues, she has served on many nonprofit boards while residing in Washington, D.C. Her first Maggie O'Shea mystery, The Lost Concerto, won the Benjamin Franklin Award Silver Medal. Shadow Music is her fourth novel and the third in the Maggie O’Shea Mystery Series. Helaine and her husband, Ron, live in Arlington, VA. Net royalties from Helaine’s books go to local reading and family programs. --This text refers to the hardcover edition.


  1. Debbie, you had me at danger and suspense. Great review.

  2. This sounds like something that I would enjoy since I love books that deal with music and I always enjoy a good mystery.

  3. Sounds so good, has lots going for it. Glad you enjoyed it. Like the sound of Maggie.