Death and the Maiden
A Daniel Jacobus Mystery by Gerald Elias
Review: A lawsuit is only the latest complication for a string quartet, whose first violinist inexplicably goes missing, in Death and the Maiden, the third mystery in this series by Gerald Elias.
The renowned New Magini String Quartet is scheduled to play Franz Shubert's masterpiece, "Death and the Maiden", in a multi-media performance at Carnegie Hall. One of Daniel Jacobus's students, Yumi Shinagawa, is to be second violinist, having replaced Crispin Short, who is deemed to be incompatible with the group. But Crispin disagrees, filing suit against anyone and everyone associated with quartet, claiming he was illegally fired, his reputation now besmirched and therefore making it impossible for him to make a living. First violinist Aaron Kortovsky insists the performance go on — quite frankly, they need the money — but he suddenly disappears, though he continues to send messages that he'll be there for rehearsals. But he misses the first one, and then violist Annika Haagan finds a human finger in her instrument case. Daniel takes it upon himself to step into the mess, and tries to convince Crispin to drop his lawsuit all while discovering what happened to Aaron. But as is often the case, the task ahead turns out to be far more complicated and mysterious than he ever imagined.
Grumpy, cantankerous, and downright ornery Daniel Jacobus seems to be mellowing with the passing years, because there's quite a bit of humor to be found in his character in Death and the Maiden. Time has certainly passed; Yumi Shinagawa appeared in the first book in this series as a preteen. It's nice to see characters develop and evolve as a series progresses. The mystery is well crafted and has its fair share of surprises for the reader, but the overall storyline involving the staging of "Death and the Maiden", with its choreography and orchestration, will probably appeal more to those who also take an interest in the arts.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Death and the Maiden.
Acknowledgment: Minotaur Books provided a copy of Death and the Maiden for this review.
Review Copyright © 2011 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Minotaur Books (Hardcover), August 2010
ISBN-13: 9780312541897; ISBN-10: 0312541899
Death and Transfiguration
Minotaur Books (Hardcover), June 2012
ISBN-13: 9780312678357; ISBN-10: 0312678355
Location(s) referenced in Death and the Maiden: New York City
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Death and the Maiden by Gerald Elias — A Daniel Jacobus Mystery
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publication Date: August 2011
List Price: $25.99