When Richard ?Dick? Burnette, Dean of the Stockman School of Music, near Chicago, is murdered at a gala school costume party, everyone saw who did it?Renato Ancari?a celebrated conductor who many thought to be the victim?s best friend. But the Dean has been carrying on an illicit affair with Emily Ancari, his friend?s wife. Rich and talented, the Dean had but one...
When Richard “Dick” Burnette, Dean of the Stockman School of Music, near Chicago, is murdered at a gala school costume party, everyone saw who did it—Renato Ancari—a celebrated conductor who many thought to be the victim’s best friend. But the Dean has been carrying on an illicit affair with Emily Ancari, his friend’s wife.
Rich and talented, the Dean had but one weakness—women. And this time he took up with the wrong woman.
Emily had tried to break off her romance with the Dean, and had even consulted with a fortune teller to cast a spell on her to root out her forbidden passion. But the fortune teller did not have such powers and referred the woman to another spiritualist in Arizona.
When the fortune teller is mysteriously murdered, and the Dean’s daughter, Leah, is found at the scene of the crime in possession of the murder weapon, it falls to the Dean’s private secretary and confidant, Oscar Paige, to solve the grisly puzzle.
Even veteran homicide detectives, Gene Loretto and Sam Montgomery do not completely buy the official conclusion about the daughter’s guilt. Perhaps the secret lay with a grizzled gun dealer in Waycross, Georgia, or with Leah’s husband, Scott, or on a tiny Greek island with the Dean’s estranged wife, Diane.
It is not until the very last page of the novel that everything comes to light.
John H. Rizzo, whose first novel, Augie, was published in 2012, is a veteran author and essayist. He is currently the chief staff writer for Amici Journal, an Italian-American Magazine. For over twenty-five years he has written comprehensively on opera and Italian culture. Many of his essays can be read on www.italianoperachicago.com, the official Internet organ of the Italian Opera Company of Chicago, a professional organization which he founded in 2001, and of which he is the artistic director.
Mr. Rizzo also has an extensive professional background in music and theater, and has appeared in several made-in-Chicago films. Since 1999 he has been a faculty member at Oakton College in Des Plaines, Ill. where he teaches Western Civilization and various classes on Music, Film and Theater.
John H. Rizzo holds a Masters Degree in Theater from the University of Illinois and is the author and composer of several musicals for young people. He also made original translations of the choruses from the Agamemnon of Aeschylus for which he composed the music. In the summer he leads cultural tours of Greece and Italy.
He resides in a suburb of Chicago with his wife, Jan, and two cats.