From concert violinist Gerald Elias comes this debut set in the classical music world about the theft of a priceless violin.
Daniel Jacobus is a blind, reclusive, crotchety violin teacher living in self-imposed exile in rural New England. He spends his time chain-smoking, listening to old LPs, and occasionally taking on new students, whom he berates in the hope that they will flee.
Jacobus is drawn back into the world he left behind when he decides to attend The Grimsley Competition at Carnegie Hall. The young winner of this competition is granted the honor of playing the Piccolino Stradivarius, a uniquely dazzling three-quarter-size violin that has brought misfortune to all who possessed it over the centuries. But the violin is stolen before the winner of the competition has a chance to play it, and Jacobus is the primary suspect.
With the help of his friend and former musical partner, Nathaniel Williams, his new student,Yumi Shinagawa, and several quirky sidekicks, Jacobus sets out to prove his innocence and find the stolen Piccolino Strad. Will he be successful? The quest takes him through the halls of wealth and culture, across continents to Japan, and leads him to a…murder.
Devil’s Trill gives the reader a peek into the world of classical music, with its backstabbing teachers and performers, venal patrons, and shady violin dealers. It is the remarkable beginning of a wonderful new series.
The third movement of Mozart’s Symphony Number 39 in E-flat Major, with Herbert von Karajan conducting the Berlin Philharmonic, spun on the Victrola. The clarinetist was playing the solo in the minuet with simple if somewhat maudlin elegance. In midphrase, Jacobus wrenched the LP off the turntable, the stylus ripping nastily into the disc with a horrible screech, like car brakes before a fatal collision. He flung the record against the wall, shattering it. Jacobus collapsed back exhausted into his secondhand swivel chair, his frayed green plaid flannel shirt sticking to