AUTHOR: Susanne Dunlap
GENRE: YA Fiction, Historic Fiction, Mystery & Romance
SETTING(S) : 18th Century, Vienna
SUBJECT: Family, gypsies, murder, class system and friendship
MAIN CHARACTERS: Coming Soon!!
Amid the glamour of Prince Nicholas Esterhazy’s court in 18th-century Vienna, murder is afoot. Or so fifteen-year-old Theresa Maria is convinced when her musician father turns up dead on Christmas Eve, his valuable violin missing, and the only clue to his death a strange gold pendant around his neck. Then her father’s mentor, the acclaimed composer Franz Joseph Haydn, helps her through a difficult time by making her his copyist and giving her insight in to her father’s secret life. It’s there that Theresa begins to uncover a trail of blackmail and extortion, even as she discovers honor—and the possibility of a first, tentative love. Thrumming with the weeping strains of violins, as well as danger and deception, this is an engrossing tale of murder, romance, and music that readers will find hard to forget….
Via: Good Reads
On Christmas eve Theresa Maria’s father dies, but at whose hands? What makes matters worse is no one seems to want to find out the reasons why for his murder and who killed him. Theresa Maria is a strong 15 year old who discovers and pieces the puzzles even as her life and her brother’s life is put to the test. I thought it was a compelling story that teens and even tweens could really enjoy.
As you got to know her uncle you could easily guess he was behind it but you really did not know the reason behind it. He had all the wealth and power he could have as an upperclass citizen. Maybe he just wanted more control of the government? The end really does not go into too much detail of his reason but it is a safe bet that he just wanted to control the government. By the end of the book you saw how much he wanted more even though it would cost him his career, possible imprisonment or even shipment to the American colonies.
I loved this book because it had all sorts of locations throughout Vienna from the palace to gypsy camps. And loved how the various characters in the book at first you hardly knew anything about them but as the book came to a conclusion you began to know a little bit more about them. There was not a whole lot of romance because you’re talking about a 15 year old girl who had a crush on a 20 something man. Plus her mother was sending her brother off to learn a trade and they being part of the middle class to lower class system Teresa Maria’s mother would need all the help she needed to raise a new baby without its father.
I didn’t feel like the book was too short or the ending was rushed. I thought it had a good ending and could possible be a short series or even stay on its own.