Kapellmeister Joseph Haydn would like nothing better than to show his principal violinist, Bartó Daboczi, the door. But with the Empress Maria Theresa’s visit scheduled in three weeks, Haydn can ill-afford to lose his surly virtuoso.
But when Bartó disappears—along with all the music composed for the imperial visit—the Kapellmeister is forced to don the role of Kapell-detective, or risk losing his job.
Before long Haydn’s search uncovers pieces of a disturbing puzzle. Bartó, it appears, is more than just a petty thief—and more dangerous. And what seemed like a minor musical mishap could modulate into a major political catastrophe unless Haydn can find his missing virtuoso.
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Is the Estates Director more worried than he needs to be about the Police Commissioner’s visit?
The Estates Director must have had his ear pressed close to the door of the Prince’s chamber for Haydn walked right into him as he left the Prince’s chamber.
“Herr Rahier!” Haydn rubbed his nose where the button on the Estates Director’s coat had scratched it.
The Estates Director ignored Haydn’s protest, and put a firm hand on the Kapellmeister’s neck to propel him forward. “What did His Serene Highness have to say?”
Haydn shook Rahier’s hand off. “It does not concern you. Still, if you must know, the Prince was enquiring about the program of entertainment for Her Majesty.”
“And he made no mention of the Police Commissioner’s visit? None at all?”
Haydn bit back the retort that had sprung to his lips. “The Police Commissioner’s visit is none of my affair, Herr Rahier.”
The Estates Director gazed at Haydn through eyes narrowed in suspicion. “Is it not, Herr Kapellmeister? And yet no sooner had the Police Commissioner left than His Serene Highness sent for you.”
Haydn felt his mouth puckering as he eyed the Estates Director. Why must everyone persist in believing the Police Commissioner’s visit had anything to do with him? Or the imperial visit? Aware that he was holding his breath, he let it out.
“There is no great mystery in that. His Serene Highness is leaving on business shortly. His impending departure necessitated that we meet before mid-day. If it will set your mind at rest, we discussed the chamber music and my principal violinist, and nothing more.”
The Estates Director had been stroking his chin as he scrutinized the floor. At Haydn’s words, he looked up. “What crime can the Police Commissioner suspect that he should come running to His Serene Highness?” he muttered to himself.
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 ntustin.musicaneo.com.
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.
For details on the Haydn series and monthly blog posts on the great composer, visit the official Haydn Mystery web site: NTUSTIN.COM