The Devil in Music
by Kate Ross

Viking: 1997
$23.95, 464pp
ISBN: 0-670-86359-9

Review by Harriet Klausner

In 1825 while traveling on the continent, Julian Kestrel, a music aficionado, learns that a local Italian opera buff, Lodovico Malvezzi, was a victim of murder four year ago in an unsolved case. Julian cannot resist investigating what happened to Lodovico. With the help of his valet (a former pickpocket) and a close friend he tries uncover the mystery behind the death of the music lover.

Julian and his associates start searching for clues in the music parlors of Milan. They visit the renowned La Scala opera house where they quickly realize that the Italian aristocracy play their own games while the productions play out on stage. As the trio digs deeper, there are numerous suspects making up the entire 360 degree circle that engulfed Lodovico in life. However, as Julian leads his cronies closer to the truth, he remains unaware that he probably has set himself up for a duet, co-starring a murderer.

The Devil in Musicis one heck of a historical mystery due to the authentic feel of early nineteenth century Europe. The visit to la Scala and the secondary characters add tremendous depth to an intriguing story line headed up by the interesting Julian. Kate Ross conducts a precisely tuned aria that will thrill fans of the sub-genre. As much a historical novel as a mystery this work should have a cross-over appeal that will enlrge Ms Ross's already huge fan base.

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