Beverle Graves Myers,
Whispers of Vivaldi: A Tito Amato Mystery
(Poisoned Pen Press, 2014)

There is intrigue at the opera in Whispers of Vivaldi, a historical mystery by Beverle Graves Myers set in 18th-century Venice.

I loved this novel, and found it a page-turner.

The plot is nice and twisty, and while I called a couple of parts before they were revealed, a number of others surprised me. Cool! I've read a lot of mysteries at this point, and I love it when one surprises me. I think almost anyone would have a hard time predicting all of the plot twists, even though none are arbitrary -- they all cohere once All Is Revealed. The plot arc of the book is resolved well, but there are things brought up here that are likely to appear in future books in the Tito Amato Mystery series.

The tale involves a celebrated male soprano with a ruined voice, now making his play as a director, as well as a second-rate composer and a gorgeous operatic score that evokes the ghost of Antonio Vivaldi.

There is much intrigue, in everything from the most petty to the most important circumstances. More to the point, all the intrigue makes sense, based on the characters and the situations. Some people make poor choices, yes -- but not irrationally poor -- and most people are just doing what they can to make their lives work.

I don't know much about historical Venice, but the setting felt very real, with evocative descriptions of its neighborhoods, markets, customs, clothing and passions.

This is the sixth book in the series. I haven't read any of the previous books, and Myers does an excellent job of providing just enough background that I understood the events of the previous novels that it all made sense. Nicely done!

I will say, though, I am now keen to read the other books in this series! I expect that would make this one even richer.

Whispers of Vivaldi is very much recommended, if you like a good complex mystery, historical fiction or Venice.

book review by
Amanda Fisher

22 February 2014

Agree? Disagree?
Send us your opinions!

what's new