Death on the Down Beat
An Orchestral Fantasy of Detection
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This addition to the Crime Classics series is an immersive musical mystery, featuring diagrams of the orchestra arrangement and four pages of musical notation with relevance to the plot. First published in 1941 but out-of-print since, this is by a lost writer of the genre, Sebastian Farr (a pseudonym for Eric Walter Blom), a prolific Swiss-born and British-naturalised music lexicographer, music critic and writer.
The headline from The Maningpool Telegraph read:
TRAGIC DEATH OF SIR NOEL GRAMPIAN – shot during performance – Symphony Concert Calamity
As a rousing Strauss piece is reaching its crescendo in Maningpool Civic Hall, the talented yet obnoxious conductor Sir Noel Grampian is shot dead in full view of the Municipal Orchestra and the audience. It was no secret that he had many enemies – musicians and music critics among them – but to be killed in mid flow suggests an act of the coldest calculation.
Told through the letters and documents sent by D.I. Alan Hope to his wife as he puzzles through the dauntingly vast pool of suspects and scant physical evidence in the case, this is an innovative and playful mystery underscored by the author's extensive experience of the highly-strung world of music professionals. First published in 1941, this new edition returns Farr's only crime novel to print to receive its long-deserved encore.
- Case Count: 24
- Series: British Library Crime Classics
"A one-of-a-kind treat from the golden age" — Kirkus Reviews