Death on the Down Beat: An Orchestral Fantasy of Detection (British Library Crime Classics) (Paperback)
"A one-of-a-kind treat from the golden age."— Kirkus Reviews
From music conductor turned crime fiction novelist, Sebastian Farr, comes an epistolary tour de force that hits the perfect murderous crescendo for music and crime fiction aficionados alike.
During a performance of Strauss' tone poem 'A Hero's Life', the obnoxious conductor, Sir Noel Grampian, is shot dead in full view of the Maningpool Municipal Orchestra. 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 of Detective Inspector Alan Hope to his wife, he puzzles over his findings, and other documents such as the letters of members of the orchestra and musical notation holding clues to the crime.
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.