Murder at the Royal Albert

Alison Larkin Presents. (Daniel Jacobus Mystery, Bk. 8). Oct. 2023. 9:07 hrs. ISBN 9798823481526. $34.95. M
In the eighth installment of the Daniel Jacobus mystery series by violinist and composer Elias (after Cloudy with a Chance of Murder), London’s Royal Albert Hall is sold out for a performance of Mahler’s dramatic Sixth Symphony by the Harmonium Orchestra. As the final note descends, a bullet kills one of the performers, young violinist Natasha Conrad, a student of Jacobus’s friend/protégée Yumi Shinagawa. Cantankerous Jacobus, whose career as a musician was cut short when he lost his vision, is urged by a devastated Yumi to investigate, and soon the charming cast of characters from previous Jacobus mysteries gathers to solve Natasha’s inexplicable murder. As in previous cases, Jacobus employs his extraordinary musical knowledge and well-developed four remaining senses to investigate a wonderfully twisty mystery. From Jacobus’s growl to Yumi’s passionate and youthful speaking voice, narrator Alison Larkin skillfully portrays the varied cast. She adeptly modulates her pace to allow the narrative to flow between plot developments and the wealth of musical knowledge Elias imparts.
VERDICT Music aficionados and readers of Nero Wolfe should enjoy spending time with the eccentric and delightfully grumpy Jacobus and his friends; this novel works even for those new to the series. Includes fun musical interludes performed by the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
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