Reviews - What do customers think about The Rainaldi Quartet (Felony & Mayhem Mysteries) (Felony & Mayhem Mysteries)?
Violin historians rejoice; mystery lovers dispair Feb 15, 2008
If you loved Da Vinci Code, and have an interest in the nefarious ways of collectors of anything, but particularly violins, you will love this book. Otherwise give it a pass. The hero is a 63-year old luthier (violin maker) and potentially an engaging hero. The detective with whom he searches for a lost violin is flat and undeveloped although he is on nearly every page of the book. There are sketches of interesting characters...a charming but batty English woman, a wealthy, insane collector, a nearly too perfect love interest, a shadowy villain whose purpose is merely to illustrate collectors' lust and, in the only comic moment, a stereotypical librarian. The writing is nearly as bad as Da Vinci Code, breaking his own narrative flow and much in need of a strong editor. Peeks into the Italian and English countryside are much better developed by other writers (Donna Leon for one, but many others). The mystery is a side note, forgotten for most of the book, almost completely subsumed to the history of violin making and collecting and uncovering the trail of a lost violin. Happily, the history is interesting which is the only reason I put the second star in my rating. Recommended only for desperate moments in airports when you need a book before the flight leaves.
Obsessions Can be Deadly Jan 20, 2008
Paul Adam's "The Rainaldi Quartet" eloquently melds his knowledge of Italian culture and violins into a contemporary mystery revolving around the heinous murder of an aging luthier. His lead characters - Gianni and Guastafeste - are tireless in their efforts to find out what their dear departed friend had discovered just prior to his demise. It's a quest that takes them across breathtaking cityscapes and is written with such skill that you can practically smell the food they're eating and the wine they're tasting! For lovers of classical music and history, "The Rainaldi Quartet" is a splendid read. My only criticism - and it's minor - is that the segues into historical explanations periodically detract from the mystery that is being unfolded. I came away from the read, however, with a deeper appreciation of a violin maker's extraordinary craft. Bravo!
Christina Hamlett Author of "The Spellbox" and "Heaven Only Knows"
Great read! Oct 7, 2007
This is a well-written page turner in which, by the way, you learn a lot about the violin trade. Perfect for a long airplane ride or the beach!
Top-notch mystery, and educational, too Aug 13, 2007
Besides its clever plot and colorful characters, this well-written little whodunnit can teach you something about fancy fiddles. The author writes with apparent authority about the world inhabited by devotees of fine violins -- violin makers, dealers, players, and collectors -- and explains some of the differences among the products of great luthiers such as Amati and Guarneri, et al.
Rainaldi Quartet Jul 3, 2007
This is a very fine mystery, with knowledgable details about violin making and dealing. The author creates suspense without losing believable details. The characters are well depicted, and the situations suspenseful. Highly recommended.