Wednesday, January 13, 2010

"Paganini’s Ghost"

Paul Adam grew up in the north of England and studied law at Nottingham University. He began his writing career as a journalist and has worked in Rome as well as England. He is the author of The Rainaldi Quartet.

He applied the Page 69 Test to his new novel, Paganini’s Ghost, and reported the following:
Paganini’s Ghost is a murder-mystery set in Italy, featuring Cremona violin maker Gianni Castiglione and his detective friend Antonio Guastafeste. It’s the sequel to The Rainaldi Quartet, the book in which the duo made their first appearance a couple of years ago.

A Parisian art dealer is found murdered in a Cremona hotel room, shortly after a recital in which a dazzling young Russian virtuoso has played Paganini’s legendary Guarneri violin, the Cannon. In the dead man’s wallet is an unidentified scrap of sheet violin music, and in the hotel safe the man has left a mysterious locked gold box.

As Gianni and Antonio investigate the murder, the story taking them to Paris and London, they find themselves following a trail that links back through time to Paganini, his lover Elisa Bonaparte and Catherine the Great of Russia, as they gradually unravel a mystery that has remained unexplained for more than a century.

But you wouldn’t know this from Page 69, which is something of a lull in the storm of activity that precedes, and follows, it. The opening to Chapter Six, the page is a moment of quiet reflection when Gianni takes a break from detection to return to his violin making and muse on his long career as a luthier. It’s something I believe every good thriller needs – a break from the action, which can get very wearing if it’s too relentless, and a chance for the reader to get to know, and understand, the leading characters better.
Read an excerpt from Paganini’s Ghost, and learn more about the author and his work at Paul Adam's website.

Check out the complete list of books in the Page 69 Test Series.

--Marshal Zeringue