When his newly hired violinist disappears just weeks before the Empress’s visit, Haydn is forced to confront a disturbing truth...
Kapellmeister Joseph Haydn would like nothing better than to show his principal violinist, Bartó Daboczi, the door. But with the Empress Maria Theresa’s visit scheduled in three weeks, Haydn can ill-afford to lose his surly virtuoso.
But when Bartó disappears—along with all the music composed for the imperial visit—the Kapellmeister is forced to don the role of Kapell-detective, or risk losing his job.
Before long Haydn’s search uncovers pieces of a disturbing puzzle. Bartó, it appears, is more than just a petty thief—and more dangerous. And what seemed like a minor musical mishap could modulate into a major political catastrophe unless Haydn can find his missing virtuoso.
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From Kapellmeister to Kapell-detective
by Nupur Tustin
The Chicken Or Egg Question
Which comes first: the character of a series or the genre? Michael Brown who wrote the delightful Paddington Brown books said he discovered the character first. After that, the bear's adventures pretty much wrote themselves.
Read the books, and the first thing you'll notice is that things don't happen to Paddington so much as Paddington happens to them. This fits the mold of general fiction quite well, but mysteries are different.
In mysteries, as in life, we don't always control what happens to us. Watch any true crime program, and you'll realize just how tragically true this is. Mysteries, like life, are an interaction between character and events, or plot. Oftentimes, plot happens first, and we're left, belatedly, to respond to the awful incident. How we respond depends, of course, on our character.
Mystery writers most often choose their genre, and even their sub-genre, well before the task of researching the novel begins. In order to write a good puzzle-plot mystery, we need to be in control of our plots, and we need a character who'll work with us rather than against us. By this I mean that when I've concocted a crime, I've already determined that it can and will be solved.
I knew I was going to write a historical mystery series. I also knew I wanted to write a biographical mystery. I didn't want to focus on England. Several excellent writers have already done that: Charles Todd, Margaret Frazer, Susan Wittig Albert/Robin Paige, to name just a few.
Some have chosen to write about other writers: Stephanie Barron with her Jane Austen series and Laura Joh Rowland with her Charlotte Brontë series. I wanted to do something different.
So, I turned to my other passion: music. After that it was merely a question of finding the composer with the right personality. I knew Beethoven and Mozart with their prima donna personalities wouldn't do. I needed someone who was approachable and responsible, tactful and discreet.
I found all this and more in Haydn. A personable, warm-hearted, witty individual, he quickly captured my heart.