In 1788 Vienna, Court Poet Lorenzo Da Ponte is putting some finishing touches on the libretto for the premiere of his new opera with Mozart, "Don Giovanni." A huge success when it debuted in Prague, the Emperor has decreed that it shall be performed in Vienna.Read more...
In 1788 Vienna, Court Poet Lorenzo Da Ponte is putting some finishing touches on the libretto for the premiere of his new opera with Mozart, "Don Giovanni." A huge success when it debuted in Prague, the Emperor has decreed that it shall be performed in Vienna. But Joseph II is off prosecuting a less-than-popular war against the Turks, and the city itself is in a bit of turmoil. There are voices protesting the war, others who see Turks around every corner.
Da Ponte, however, just wants to do his work and enjoy life. Alas, these simple desires aren't to be easily fulfilled. First, he's been getting a series of mysterious coded notes from unknown hands, notes that make no sense to him. Then his old friend Alois, a retired priest and academic, is viciously murdered and strange symbols carved into his forehead. Summoned to the police bureau, Da Ponte learns that Alois's murder was not the first. Determined to help find his friend's killer, Da Ponte agrees to help with the secret investigation.
Caught in a crossfire of intrigue both in the world of opera and politics, Da Ponte must find the answer to a riddle and expose a killer before he becomes the next victim.
- ISBN-13: 9781250053565
- ISBN-10: 1250053560
- Publisher: Minotaur Books
- Publish Date: April 2016
- Page Count: 384
- Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.8 x 1.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.9 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-02-22
- Reviewer: Staff
Set in Venice in 1788, Lebow’s outstanding sequel to 2015’s The Figaro Murders finds poet Lorenzo Da Ponte hard at work adapting his own libretto for Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni. The production will be a command performance for Emperor Joseph II, whose recent declaration of war against the Ottoman Empire has left the Austrian capital politically divided. The brutal slaying of a scholarly friend of Lorenzo’s, Fr. Alois Bayer, whose killer carved lines into his forehead, ratchets up the tension. Some residents fear that Turks, who have infiltrated the city, are responsible. Count Pergen, the minister of police, recruits Lorenzo to investigate, given the poet’s previous successes as a sleuth. Pergen reveals that a prominent general, whose death was publicly attributed to a seizure, was murdered in a fashion similar to the priest’s. The minister believes that the dead men, who represented the military and the church, were targeted as “symbols of Austrian greatness.” The puzzle, characters, and period detail are all top-notch. Agent: John Talbot, Talbot Fortune Agency. (Apr.)