Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Whispers of Vivaldi: Review

Whispers of Vivaldi is the latest mystery in a series by Beverle Graves Myers. Her Tito Amato books are set in 18th century Venice with a hero who has been a singing sensation in the operatic world. Unfortunately, an accident has ruined his beautiful singing voice but his retirement from center stage affords him the opportunity to play a role behind the scenes.  His friend Maestro Torani asks Tito to help him find a way to renew the flagging interest in the San Marco opera house's musical offerings. Tito is hard-pressed to find something to bring back the patrons who have abandoned them for a rival opera house.

A chance meeting brings a new, untried opera to Tito's attention and he must convince not only Maestro Torani, but also their wealthy patron that a story about a Duke who exchanges places with a huntsman and gives up his comforts to seek solace in the life of a country man has story and music enough to enchant the masses. The score is beautiful and the story has twists and surprises--and most mysterious of all, it is rumored to be the work of Vivaldi himself. 

Tito manages to convince those necessary and when he also manages to bring in Angeletto, the current male soprano singing star, to sing the lead it seems that all is falling in place. But mysteries continue to surround the production and the plot takes a dangerous turn when Maestro Torani becomes the target of various accidents and finally...murder. More murders follow and Tito must rely on his old friend Messer Andre Grande (the chief constable) as well as his own talents as a detective to unravel the plot behind the deaths before he becomes a final victim..

This is a decent mystery.  Great historical setting and interesting characters. Ideal for historical mystery fans. An entertaining read for the bulk of the story, although I must admit that I found my attention wandering now and then (I'm not as into opera as I thought I might be). And my Golden Age preferences make me want a fairly-clued mystery. There is, as others have noted, a twist ending...but I just didn't feel like it was adequately clued for the reader to have detected the culprit based on evidence given throughout. There is one big clue that might lead you there...but I didn't pick up on any real evidence for motive or other supporting clues. ★★★


fredamans said...

I think I'm more intrigued by the setting, with musical tones than the mystery... lol... great review though.

jmisgro said...

I may have to check out this author...