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The Iron Tongue of Midnight: A Baroque Mystery    by Beverle Graves Myers Amazon.com order for
Iron Tongue of Midnight
by Beverle Graves Myers
Order:  USA  Can
Poisoned Pen, 2008 (2008)
Hardcover
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

It's 1740 and castrato Tito Amato receives an invitation to sing the lead role in German composer Karl Johann Weber's new opera. The opera is to be performed in an isolated villa in the hills of the Venetian mainland. Tito's artist brother-in-law Gussie is also invited to paint scenes of the estate's grape harvesting.

Curious? But why not? The two men travel to the luxurious villa only to once again find themselves enmeshed in murder. The Iron Tongue of Midnight is the fourth novel in Beverle Graves Myers' Baroque Mystery series. An intriguing series it is. Tito and Gussie receive word that Tito's sister, the black sheep of the family, has emerged from obscurity to arrive at the same venue as Tito. She is to be the female lead in the opera.

Grisella - or Gabrielle, the name she uses at the moment - tells her brother that she is incognito as she is fleeing a Turkish pasha who wishes to do her harm. Her husband seems also inclined to do the same. A body appears inside the villa. Another shows up at the vat where grapes are being stomped. Then a third and the local police chief is out of the area hunting boar! Letters from Tito's brother Alessandro - who married a Turk and lives in Constantinople - keep Tito informed of their sister Grisella's transgressions. What a tangled web we weave when first we practice ...

The Iron Tongue of Midnight is cleverly plotted and tightly woven to produce a tantalizing mystery. The taste of those times is a welcome bonus.

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