'Mozart, music, and murder seamlessly blend together in this fascinating historical mystery. A perfect read.' TESS GERRITSEN
Matt Rees is an award-winning crime novelist and foreign correspondent. He was born in Wales and read English at Oxford before moving to the Middle East to become a journalist. He is also the author of the internationally acclaimed Omar Yussef crime series, published in twenty-two countries, which includes The Collaborator of Bethlehem. He is also the author of Cain's Field, a nonfiction account of Israeli and Palestinian society. Matt lives in Jerusalem.
In this engaging, well-paced book from crime novelist and journalist Rees (The Collaborator of Bethlehem), Mozart's estranged sister, Madame Maria Anna Berchtold von Sonnenburg (called Nannerl by her family), travels to Vienna to investigate the mysterious circumstances of her brother's sudden death. According to Nannerl's sister-in-law Constanze, Mozart had premonitions of murder before he died. In Vienna, Nannerl finds a web of deception, scandal, and fear revolving around the colorful, dangerous Freemasons, implicating Mozart in shadowy activities and pointing to his death by poison. Meanwhile, Nannerl's own musical career-once overshadowed by her prodigy brother's-is revived as she pays tribute to his compositions. Despite her reservations, she finds herself drawn to a powerful baron, himself caught up in all the intrigue. Combining Dan Brown or Elizabeth Kostova-style historical conspiracy theory with cozy detective novel, Rees's latest offers a genuinely felt reverence for the power of Mozart's music and its lasting impact in the world. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Rees's first stand-alone novel after the award-winning Omar Yussef mystery series (The Collaborator of Bethlehem) delves into 18th-century Austria and the intrigue surrounding Mozart and his contemporaries. Mozart's estranged sister, Madame Maria Anna Berchtold von Sonnenburg, a distinguished musician in her own right and known to her family as Nannerl, travels to Vienna to uncover the true circumstances of her brother's death. Mozart's friends and supporters claim he was poisoned, and Nannerl discovers multiple possible motives for his murder, including debts, reported liaisons, entanglements with secret societies, and even treason. Similar in appearance and adept at performance, Nannerl impersonates her brother to unmask the murderer. VERDICT Replete with biographical detail and musical references, this novel animates Mozart's life and times with a varied cast of patrons, lovers, and villains. This absorbing Viennese soap opera is a solid choice for readers who like fiction about historical figures caught up in suspenseful intrigues such as Matthew Pearl's The Dante Club or Gyles Brandreth's Oscar Wilde mysteries.-Cathy Lantz, Morton Coll. Lib., Cicero, IL (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
The power and politics of the day are at work and Mozart fans and
code crackers will enjoy the clever musical riddle. A very readable
historical mystery * The Times *
Well researched, very clever... This is an even better mystery novel than the author's prize-winning series about the Palestinian detective Omar Yussef - and that's saying a lot. * Literary Review *
Cleverly weaves music, crime, and conspiracy into a sumptuous historical whodunit, set against the decadent backdrop of 18th-century Vienna * Marie Claire *