Interrupted Aria: A Tito Amato Mystery

Interrupted Aria: A Tito Amato Mystery

by Beverle Graves Myers
     
 

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Venice, 1731.The dazzling city on the lagoon is sailing toward the ruin of her maritime empire, determined to go down in a maelstrom of pleasure, music, and masquerade.
Opera is the popular entertainment of the day and the castrati are its reigning divas. Tito Amato, undergoing surgery as a boy to preserve his enchanting soprano voice, returns to the city of

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Overview

Venice, 1731.The dazzling city on the lagoon is sailing toward the ruin of her maritime empire, determined to go down in a maelstrom of pleasure, music, and masquerade.
Opera is the popular entertainment of the day and the castrati are its reigning divas. Tito Amato, undergoing surgery as a boy to preserve his enchanting soprano voice, returns to the city of his birth with his friend Felice, a castrato whose voice has failed.

Disaster strikes Tito's opera debut when the singer loses one beloved friend to poison and another to unjust accusation and arrest. Alarmed that the merchant-aristocrat who owns the theater is pressing the authorities to close the case, Tito races the executioner to find the real killer. The possible suspects could people the cast of one of his operas: a libertine nobleman and his spurned wife, a jealous soprano, an ambitious composer, and a patrician family bent on the theater's ruin.

With carnival gaiety swirling around him and rousing Venetian passions to an ominous crescendo, Tito finds that the most astonishing secrets lurk behind the masks of his own family and friends.
 

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"On a chilly day in 1731, two young men arrive in the Italian city of Venice—as besieged then by nature and human frailties as the present-day version so well-chronicled by such mystery writers as Edward Sklepowich and Donna Leon.

Both of the men are castrati—singers who paid the terrible price of sexual mutilation in order to maintain their perfect child soprano voices. One of them, Tito Amato, returning to his native city after many years in Naples at the famed Conservatorio San Remo, where he perfected his art, is about to become a star. The other, his best friend, Felice Ravello, is a sadder figure: Despite the operation, his voice has cracked and thickened, and he must develop other musical skills to survive.

"Castrati are famous for having the small, delicately formed larynx of a woman and the prodigious lung capacity of a man," says Tito, who is proud of his art but resentful at the price he has paid for it. "I had once witnessed a virtuoso performance by the great Farnelli in Naples. During his arias, all eyes were glued to his face and gestures...Some of the women, and even a few of the men, seemed transported by sensation...They appeared nothing short of enraptured."

The best thing about Beverle Graves Myers' riveting first mystery, which involves the poisoning of a beautiful, aging opera star and the charging of Ravello with the crime, is how quickly we slip into the world she has so expertly re-created, despite its distance and initial oddness. It's a world where castrati-bashing by gangs of louts on the street (and verbal insults by solid citizens behind closed doors) is a fact of life, where a government would rather have fast action than slowtruth, where a powerful businessman buys and sells people along with his other trade goods. Sound like any place you know?" — Dick Adler, Chicago Tribune (3.21.04)
 

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781464200007
Publisher:
Poisoned Pen Press
Publication date:
05/01/2012
Series:
Constable Molly Smith Novels Series
Pages:
250
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Beverle Graves Myers fell in love with opera at age nine during a marionette production of Rigoletto. A Kentucky native, she studied history at the University of Louisville and went on to earn a degree in medicine. After a career in psychiatry, she devoted herself to writing full-time. Beverle is the author of the Baroque mystery series featuring Tito Amato. www.beverlegravesmyers.com

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