Whispers of Vivaldi-Beverle Graves Myers

Whispers of Vivaldi
Beverle Graves Myers
Poisoned Pen, Jan 7 2014, $24.95
ISBN 9781464202100

In 1745 Venice, the esteemed Teatro San Marco opera house is in financial trouble since many patrons deserted it for its lightweight rival Teatro Grimani in spite the latter’s focus on minor works with pretty inane tunes and beautiful by poor performing prima donnas. Teatro San Marco Director Maestro Torani orders former soprano Tito Amato to find a fresh saving piece in time for Carnival.

Tito offers his boss the False Duke by Niccolo Rocatti, whose previous works have not been very good. However, Tito insists that this piece about twins is different with Whispers of Vivaldi as if the late great Red Priest wrote it. Sold on the concept, Torani imports Angeletto of Naples as the star in spite of incessant rumors the castrato is actually a female. When someone murders Torani, recognizing himself as the prime suspect Tito must solve the homicide before it is too late for him and his beloved opera house.

The latest Baroque mystery (see The Iron Tongue of Midnight) contains an interesting surprising whodunit as the protagonist’s mentor is the victim. The exciting investigation is enhanced by the colorful descriptions of mid eighteenth century Venice and the behind the scenes of an opera house; so picturesque the background turns the storyline into a fabulous historical with a strong supporting whodunit.

Harriet Klausner

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