A Minor Deception: A Joseph Haydn Mystery
by Nupur Tustin
GENRE: Historical Cozy Mystery
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.
Haydn's immediate superior, Estates Director Rahier threatens dire consequences unless Haydn dismisses his principal violinist, hiring Rahier's nephew Albert instead.
Haydn Receives a Threat
Rahier's icy blue eyes settled unblinkingly on the Kapellmeister.
“It is not in my nature to gloat. So I will not point out how greatly you erred in your judgment, Herr Kapellmeister, when you passed over my nephew in favor of your principal violinist.
“But I must point out, in the friendliest spirit, of course, that in tolerating the man for two more weeks, you make a grave error.”
Haydn sat back in his chair and folded his arms. “On the contrary, Herr Rahier. Dismissing a key musician before the Empress’s visit—which, I need hardly remind you, is an event of the greatest importance to His Serene Highness—would be the worse error.”
Rahier held up a hand, bowing his head at the same time as though in acknowledgement of the Kapellmeister’s objection. “I have taken note of the circumstances, Herr Kapellmeister. Were it not for His Serene Highness’s desire to put on a lavish display for Her Majesty, I would demand an instant dismissal of your principal violinist.”
Haydn’s lips tightened at Rahier’s easy assumption of one of his own duties. They both knew it was the Kapellmeister and not the Estates Director who determined which musician would be hired and which one shown the door.
Oblivious to Haydn’s reaction, Rahier went on: “As it stands, I only ask you to consider the wisdom of keeping on so troublesome a man as your principal violinist. Despite the circumstances, your hands are not tied.” .
Were they not? Haydn deliberately allowed his left eyebrow to arch up, and met the Estates Director’s gaze.
Rahier must have read his expression. He pursed his lips, and leaned back in his chair, his elegantly shod feet planted firmly on the floor. “Ach, Herr Kapellmeister, you know as well as I do that my nephew is more than capable of stepping into your principal violinist’s shoes.”
Haydn exchanged another glance with his brother. Johann lifted his shoulders in an amused shrug. His hands were tied worse than he had supposed if the fallout of dismissing Bartó meant having to deal with Rahier’s dreaded nephew. He turned back to the Estates Director.
“To put it plainly, then, Herr Rahier, you wish me to dismiss my musician and hire your nephew in his stead. And I suppose I can reasonably expect your nephew to master in as little as two weeks material that it has taken Bartó nearly three months to prepare.” Haydn allowed his voice to rise to a question as he uttered the last word.
Rahier stood up, a steely glint in his blue eyes. “I will leave you to ponder my words, Herr Kapellmeister.” His lips were still compressed as he turned on his heels to leave the room. “But mark my words. No good can come of your hesitation to dispense with your violinist’s services.” He banged the door shut.
Author Bio: 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
A Minor Deception: A Joseph Haydn Mystery
Release Date: November 15, 2016
Ebook (ISBN-13: 978-0-9982430-0-9): $4.99
Print (ISBN-13: 978-0-9982430-1-6): $14.95
Amazon Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M4HHNXT?ref_=pe_2427780_160035660
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