In her highly intriguing new novel, Louise Marley masterfully intertwines the past and present with a mystery surrounding one of the world's greatest composers. . .
The Brahms Deception
Music scholar Frederica Bannister is thrilled when she beats her bitter rival, Kristian North, for the chance to be transferred back to 1861 Tuscany to observe firsthand the brilliant Johannes Brahms. Frederica will not only get to see Brahms in his prime; she'll also try to solve a mystery that has baffled music experts for years.
But once in Tuscany, Frederica's grip on reality quickly unravels. She instantly falls under Brahms' spell-and finds herself envious of his secret paramour, the beautiful, celebrated concert pianist Clara Schumann. In a single move, Frederica makes a bold and shocking decision that changes everything. . .
When Frederica fails to return home, it is Kristian North who is sent back in time to Tuscany to find her. There, Kristian discovers that Frederica indeed holds the key to unraveling Brahms' greatest secret. But now, Frederica has a dark secret of her own-one that puts everyone around her in devastating peril. . .
Praise for Mozart's Blood
"Eerie, beautiful. . .has a poetic, haunting sense of time and place." -Stephanie Cowell, author of Marrying Mozart
"Riveting, original. . .filled with the emotional power and intricate twists and turns of a Mozart opera." -Teresa Grant, author of Vienna Waltz
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About the Author
Lousie Marley, a performer of classical music, is the author of several novels including The Terrorists of Irustan and The Glass Harmonica, which was the co-winner (with Ursula LeGuin’s Tales from Earthsea) of the 2001 Endeavor Award for Outstanding Achievement in Science Fiction or Fantasy. She lives in Redmond, Washington with her husband and son.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The amazing author who brought everyone the fantastic book, Mozart's Blood, has done it again. This brilliant journey takes readers into the world of time travel, and exposes a powerful, secretive romance that no one ever knew about. Lara Wieck was nine years old when she became the 'belle' of the music world. With a blue bow in her hair, she played the piano with the 'strength of six boys,' and moved the audience to tears and cheers. Clara's life, however, was anything but happy. Her father ruled Clara's existence - making sure that he was the final say over everything from what she wore to the food she ate. Unfortunately for Clara, down the line, she would go from her father's house of pain directly to her husband's house - a legendary composer by the name of Schumann who the world doted on. For Clara, she would not find true and utter romance until her husband took on a student by the name of Brahms. In present day, Frederica has won the spot from the Remote Research company to travel through time to 1861 Tuscany, in order to see up-close and personal what Brahms was up to in that small Italian village. Frederica knew Brahms had been in this particular location because of a letter that sits in a museum, holding a secret that Frederica really wanted to find. Kristian North was the runner-up in the contest. His idol had always been Clara Wieck Schumann. He really wanted nothing more than to travel through time to meet her when she was at the top of her game, but Brahms would do in a pinch. Unfortunately, because of an underhanded dealing, a girl by the name of Frederica stole his spot, and Kristian now finds himself far away from Julliard and playing piano at Angel's Bar until two o'clock in the morning. One night, a Doctor gives him a buzz to let him know that there are protestors outside the doors of their research facility, and Frederica has been 'lost.' They beg Kristian to "go in" and try to figure out where exactly she has gone. Although Kristian is still pretty peeved that he was runner-up, he wants this opportunity and practically runs to Italy, lays down on the table, and enters the virtual world. When he finds Frederica - living inside his own idol's body - Kristian must wage a war on the girl who wants to 'stay' in Tuscany by Brahms side and never return to the real world. A riveting tale that is filled with passion, romance, mystery, historical locales, and more. Every single page is a true work of art!
The competition to go back in time to 1861 Tuscany to observe Johannes Brahms is fierce. Thus Frederica Bannister, who badly wanted to go so much s she had her father arrange her selection, is euphoric when she is picked over her rival Kristian North. The musicologist is excited over seeing the legend perform and to solve the mystery of his relationship with older concert pianist Clara Schumann. However, once in 1861 Frederica ignores the rules for time traveling. She is besotted with her hero and envious of his secret lover. Unable to move on, Frederica makes a decision that has potential repercussions in her future time as well as in Brahms' era. Raging over not being selected, Kristian is sent to find out what happened to Frederica as the eight hours allotted of study time in the past passed. The second time travel musical history thriller (see Mozart's Blood) is an entertaining look at the relationship between Brahms and his "muse" Schumann. The story line provides the reader a glimpse at the legend inside of an exciting story line. Although understanding Frederica is difficult as she is obsessive compulsive; harping at being ugly and infatuating over Brahms who is dead over a century before she was born. Still even with the researchers having no contingency plan if something goes wrong in the visited past except to send the runner-up student, fans will enjoy the trip back to the classical musical romantic period. Harriet Klausner
I've been a fan of Louise Marley's work for years now. By a wonderful coincidence, I had just begun learning the Brahms piano piece, Waltz in A Flat, when I read The Brahms Deception. For an adult beginner with small hands, playing Brahms amounts to an exercise that rivals the most complex yoga postures. The man apparently had immense hands and wrote music that he could play, refusing to compromise with anyone else's limitations. Except, apparently, those of the brilliant concert pianist Clara Schumann. Brahms was hopelessly in love with Schumann, but biographers do not agree on whether the relationship ever went beyond the platonic. Here Marley's imagination finds fertile ground as scholars use time travel for their researches, and an unstable, emotionally needy music historian enters into the world of Brahms and Schumann...at the country house where they have a secret tryst. When the historian does not return as scheduled, a second is sent in search of her. Marley combines drama, mystery, the perils of time travel and changing history, and delicious appreciation for the music, artistry and passion of two immensely gifted musicians. If you don't read science fiction, read this anyway. If you do read science fiction but don't know anything about classical music, read it anyway, too.
This is a very intriguing novel--and I mean that in the best way (smiles). Frederica Daniels never quite fit into her own world. She's a concert pianist and musical scholar who is almost obsessed with Johannes Brahms. She wrangles an opportunity to travel back in time to study him at a specific moment, but when she arrives in 1861 Italy, she's stunned to discover that composer Clara Schumann is staying with him. Not wanting to go back to her old life, Frederica takes possession of Clara's body and does not wake up in her own body at the specified appointment. Meanwhile, fellow scholar Kristian North is asked to go back in time and bring Frederica home. He was the "runner up" for this opportunity to go back in time (and she was the winner), but even though he's still somewhat bitter, he agrees to try and help. However, once he enters the 1860s, he finds that bringing Frederica back is a lot more challenging than he expected. This novel has strong characters the reader will care for and a truly unique story.