A Daniel Jacobus Mystery by Gerald Elias
Review: Aging, blind, and irascible violin teacher Daniel Jacobus reluctantly agrees to assist with the defense of a man accused of murder — even though Daniel himself is convinced he's guilty — in Danse Macabre, the second mystery in this series by Gerald Elias.
BTower, a young but exceptionally talented violinist, has been convicted of murdering his former teacher and mentor — but now rival — Rene Allard. Allard had just given his final performance at Carnegie Hall before returning home to France to begin his retirement. Following the concert, his friends had planned a small party. But he never made it. Allard's body was found with a bloody BTower hovering over it. BTower's trial was swift, it's outcome certain: a conviction for the murder of Allard. Daniel, summoned as a witness for the prosecution, testified that Allard had tried to work with BTower — who was then known by his given name of Shelby Freeman — but was unable to teach him discipline. Freeman, who subsequently adopted the name BTower, a shortened form of George Bridgetower, a concert violinist who once performed with Beethoven, for his stage name, became famous for his elaborate stage productions, quite the opposite to those of Allard, who concentrated first and foremost on the music. And now, even though BTower has been tried and convicted for killing Allard, his final defense before his scheduled execution rests on the one point that was never fully explained at his trial: what motive would BTower have for killing Allard? BTower's attorney pleads with Daniel to assist him in determining if someone else may have had a motive — and opportunity — to murder Allard.
Danse Macabre is a mystery of competition, rivalry, jealousy, hypocrisy, and greed. Daniel may not be the most likeable of amateur sleuths, but his sense of justice and fair play cannot be denied. The background information on professional concert musicians is fascinating, but it's really the intricately devised, delightfully twisty storyline here that drives the plot forward, to a conclusion that few readers will see coming. Danse Macabre is highly recommended.
Acknowledgment: Minotaur Books provided a copy of Danse Macabre for this review.
Review Copyright © 2010 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Minotaur Books (Hardcover), August 2009
ISBN-13: 9780312541811; ISBN-10: 0312541813
Death and the Maiden
Minotaur Books (Hardcover), August 2011
ISBN-13: 9780312678340; ISBN-10: 0312678347
Location(s) referenced in Danse Macabre: New England, New York City
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Danse Macabre by Gerald Elias — A Daniel Jacobus Mystery
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publication Date: August 2010
List Price: $24.99
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Page Author: Lance Wright
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