Well into his middle years, Gianni Castiglione has a pleasant, quiet life in Cremona. A luthier—a maker and repairer of violins—he spends most of his time adoring his grandchildren and playing chamber-quartets with the local priest, the chief of police, and a fellow aging luthier, Tomaso Rainaldi. A true romantic, Rainaldi is in thrall to music's myths, particularly the stories about the "Messiah's Sister," a priceless, centuries-old, and possibly imaginary violin. But his end is anything but romantic: the old fellow is brutally murdered and his workroom destroyed. It soon becomes clear that Rainaldi's violins had something to do with his death, and while the police-chief, Guastafeste, knows little about the luthier's world, Castiglione has the knowledge he needs. Following the clues will take the two men to a decaying Venetian palazzo, to an English country estate, and deep into musical history, as they hunt for a secretive collector, a collection of letters, a mysterious portrait, and, perhaps...the Messiah's Sister itself. The first of two books featuring Castiglione and Guastafeste, The Rainaldi Quartet is a great choice for classical music lovers.
"A fascinating historical journey into the mystery of a legendary lost violin"—Sunday Telegraph
"Adam has constructed this tale with all the care and craftsmanship that Stradivari put into his instruments"—Publishers Weekly
Who's likely to like this: Fans of classical music and Donna Leon's Italian mysteries