A Joseph Haydn Mystery
by Nupur Tustin
About the Book
Prussian Counterpoint: A Joseph Haydn Mystery
3rd in Series
Publisher: Foiled Plots Press (March 1, 2019
Paperback: 270 pages
Digital BN ID: 2940156243365
When an enemy makes overtures of friendship, is anyone safe?
An unexpected invitation from wily King Frederick causes composer Joseph Haydn to fear he’s walking into a trap. After all, the Prussian King has never had any use for Haydn’s music. His Majesty seems more intrigued at Haydn’s being the son of a market-judge.
Worse still, the invitation appears to stir up suspicion in the highest quarters in Vienna. So much so that a mysterious, cloaked lady visits Haydn’s Music Room and issues a thinly veiled threat.
Now Haydn is convinced there’s mischief afoot. But not even he can foresee that he will stumble upon the corpse of the imperial ambassador a day after his arrival in Frederick’s Prussia, along with evidence that His Lordship may have been a common thief.
Can Haydn salvage the imperial ambassador’s reputation—and find his killer?
Praise for the Joseph Haydn Mysteries
“A standout in the genre of historical mysteries. An encore is requested!”
Midwest Book Review
“Tustin occupies a unique niche in the historical mystery world.”
Edith Maxwell, Agatha-nominated Author, Quaker Midwife Mysteries
“Wonderful read for fans of historical cozy mysteries. . .The characters are strong and the writing is smooth. . .”
Books a Plenty Book Reviews
“An interesting journey and Haydn is a likable main character.”
Christa Reads and Writes
“Vivid historical descriptions, intricate details, and a fascinating central character kept me turning the pages. Bravo!”
Amanda Carmack, award-winning author of The Elizabethan Mystery Series
The author’s love of classical music and this era comes through clearly in Prussian Counterpoint. The entire book has an authentic feel—from the dialogue to the descriptions to the actions of the characters.
~Mysteries with Character
PRUSSIAN COUNTERPOINT is a fascinating political mystery. Sumptuous period detail and exacting historical research add to the intellectual nature of the novel while rich characterization brings heart.
~Cozy Up With Kathy
Introduction: For a man who loved music as much as Frederick the Great did—he played the flute quite well and even composed—his musical tastes were remarkably limited and old-fashioned. The English music historian Charles Burney commented on this when he traveled through the kingdom. Unlike most of his contemporaries, Frederick didn’t think very much of Haydn’s music. And as far as Mozart was concerned, the King remained unimpressed.
Frederick’s fondness for his Italian greyhounds was also quite unusual.
“What think you of our opera, my dear Haydn?” The King, who had insisted the Kapellmeister be seated next to him, tapped him on the knee. The Italian greyhound at his feet shifted, flopping itself onto Haydn’s feet.
The Kapellmeister stiffened. He had nothing against dogs. On the hunting fields, no animal could be more useful. But what kind of man brought a dog into an opera house? God forbid, the creature should do its business on his shoes!
On the stage, Medea complained of having lost the love of Jason. A most unsuitable subject for the occasion, Haydn privately thought. This opera about a woman who forced her unfaithful husband to devour his children. But it was not the sort of remark one made to a King.
“It is a most intriguing subject, Your Majesty,” was all he could think of saying.
“Indeed.” A pair of piercing blue eyes fastened themselves upon Haydn’s features. “And why is that?”
Haydn took a deep breath and took the plunge. “One wonders how a man would react under the circumstances, Your Majesty.”
“A man would simply cut his losses and move on, Haydn. But women rather than accepting their fate try to interfere, thus spoiling everything.”
Haydn’s eyes flickered involuntarily to the Empress. Was that the King’s assessment of Her Majesty, then?
“My remarks appear to have hit the mark.” The King’s softly uttered words pulled Haydn’s gaze back. His Majesty’s well-formed lips were curving into an amused smile. “You have the misfortune of being acquainted with such a woman, I suppose, Haydn.”
The Kapellmeister felt his cheeks burn at the insinuation. His nostrils flared. “Your Majesty is mistaken,” he said as calmly as he could manage. The sound of teeth clicking against metal reached his ears.
The infernal greyhound was chewing on the buckles of his shoes.
“Pepi!” The King called sharply, giving Haydn a start. But it was only the dog that His Majesty was addressing. So, the hound was christened Joseph, too! God be thanked, the King had not seen fit to nickname the creature Sepperl.
A few minutes later, the King leaned closer to the Kapellmeister again. “What would your father, the Marktrichter, think of such a crime, Haydn?”
“A woman driven to commit a heinous act against her children by her husband’s infidelity. Is such a crime deserving of punishment?”
Haydn gripped the arms of his seat. “My father never had occasion to judge such a crime, Your Majesty. The theft of a man’s goods, the swindling of an honest housewife, these were the petty crimes he examined.”
His Majesty regarded Haydn for a moment. “And such are the crimes you specialize in, I imagine.”
What was the King getting at? “I have looked into one or two matters. But it is music that I specialize in, Your Majesty.”
* * *
About the Author
About the Author
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.
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