Thursday, December 7, 2017

Blog post and review: ARIA TO DEATH

Aria to Death: A Joseph Haydn Mystery
by Nupur Tustin
When Monteverdi's lost operas surface, so does a killer desperate to possess them. . .
Preoccupied with preparations for the opera season at Eszterháza, Kapellmeister Joseph Haydn receives a curious request from a friend in Vienna. Kaspar, an impoverished violinist with an ailing wife, wishes Haydn to evaluate a collection of scores reputed to be the lost operas of Monteverdi. 
Haydn is intrigued until Her Majesty, Empress Maria Theresa, summons him with a similar request. Skeptical of the value of Kaspar’s bequest, Haydn nevertheless offers to help. But before he can examine the works, Kaspar is murdered—beaten and left to die in front of a wine tavern. 
The police are quick to dismiss the death as a robbery gone wrong. But Haydn is not so sure. Kaspar’s keys were stolen and his house broken into. Could his bequest be genuine after all? And can Haydn find the true operas—and the man willing to kill for them?


Kaspar had high hopes of an inheritance that would solve his financial woes and he is disappointed by the chest he receives of musical scores.  Were these the work of Monteverdi? If so, perhaps it's not so bad. Kaspar had no idea his uncle had these musical scores, but obviously others not only knew about them, but believe them to be of high value. Unfortunately, Kaspar is killed before he can find out. Haydn is left with his initial task - finding and authenticating the lost operas of Monteverdi while at once identifying those who want them and not ending up the next victim. 

The story is easy to follow and the context unique. An interesting journey and Haydn is a likable main character. Those who have interest in music history and opera will most likely enjoy this tale.

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in the hopes that I would post an honest review as part of this blog tour. This has not affected the content of my review in any way.

About the Author

A former journalist, Nupur Tustin relies upon a Ph.D. in Communication and an M.A. in English to orchestrate fictional mayhem. The Haydn mysteries are a result of her life-long passion for classical music and its history. Childhood piano lessons and a 1903 Weber Upright share equal blame for her original compositions, available on

Her writing includes work for Reuters and CNBC, short stories and freelance articles, and research published in peer-reviewed academic journals. She lives in Southern California with her husband, three rambunctious children, and a pit bull.



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