Grave Music by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles

Scribner (first), 1995

A concert by the Royal London Philharmonic, conducted by Sir Stefan Radek. Two pleasant romances linking the police force and members of the orchestra — Detective Inspector Bill Slider reunited at last with his lovely Joanna; his elegant assistant Jim Atherton charmed by the second violinist. Two deaths — with both victims as notable for their power over others as for their singularly unpleasant natures. Even more startling, when Stefan Radek dies in the midst of rehearsal, his right hand in spasm clutching at his collar, struck down by a bullet fired by the trench-coated figure who entered and left the rehearsal hall unrecognized, there were two people, acting separately, unknown to one another, who had planned his death. Skillful plotting and vivid characterization make Grave Music a compelling mystery; moreover, it’s a mark of a generous and confident writer to eliminate, permanently, a truly hate-able villain who might have served to enrage readers in books to come. Grave Music rates a standing ovation. (Jeanne M Jacobson)

Originally published in Issue # 136 – March/April 1995

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