A Joseph Haydn Mystery
by Nupur Tustin
About the Book
Prussian Counterpoint: A Joseph Haydn Mystery
3rd in Series
Publisher: Foiled Plots Press (March 1, 2019
Paperback: 270 pages
Digital BN ID: 2940156243365
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When an enemy makes overtures of friendship, is anyone safe?
An unexpected invitation from wily King Frederick causes composer Joseph Haydn to fear he’s walking into a trap. After all, the Prussian King has never had any use for Haydn’s music. His Majesty seems more intrigued at Haydn’s being the son of a market-judge.
Worse still, the invitation appears to stir up suspicion in the highest quarters in Vienna. So much so that a mysterious, cloaked lady visits Haydn’s Music Room and issues a thinly veiled threat.
Now Haydn is convinced there’s mischief afoot. But not even he can foresee that he will stumble upon the corpse of the imperial ambassador a day after his arrival in Frederick’s Prussia, along with evidence that His Lordship may have been a common thief.
Can Haydn salvage the imperial ambassador’s reputation—and find his killer?
Praise for the Joseph Haydn Mysteries
“A standout in the genre of historical mysteries. An encore is requested!”
Midwest Book Review
“Tustin occupies a unique niche in the historical mystery world.”
Edith Maxwell, Agatha-nominated Author, Quaker Midwife Mysteries
“Wonderful read for fans of historical cozy mysteries. . .The characters are strong and the writing is smooth. . .”
Books a Plenty Book Reviews
“An interesting journey and Haydn is a likable main character.”
Christa Reads and Writes
“Vivid historical descriptions, intricate details, and a fascinating central character kept me turning the pages. Bravo!”
Amanda Carmack, award-winning author of The Elizabethan Mystery Series
Introduction: Subplot character Rosalie first met Gerhard, a tavern-keeper, in Minor Deception. Their relationship develops in Aria to Death, and now the two are engaged. Rosalie along with her friend, Greta, provide a downstairs dynamic to the Haydn Mysteries and also furnish Haydn with key clues. This is an aspect of the series that was influenced by one of my favorite mystery writers, Emily Brightwell, author of the Mrs. Jeffries series.
Rosalie Szabó allowed Gerhard to sweep her roughly into his arms. “Take care of yourself, lass,” he said, clasping her so close to his chest, she could hardly breathe. “And do not forget you are now an engaged woman.”
“I won’t,” Rosalie promised. How could she, when he never gave her an opportunity to do so?
She watched him climb onto his rack-wagon and maneuver it out of the Haarhof, the narrow alley on which the wine cellar for the Esterházy Palace, where she worked, was located. There had been no wine deliveries to make. Gerhard had simply come to see her.
To check on her, the palace maid corrected herself. If only he could bring himself to trust her a little more. But Gerhard Heindl, the tavern-keeper from Kleinhöflein, seemed perpetually afraid Rosalie would betray him the way Marlene, his first fiancée, had done.
If Rosalie so much as glanced at another man, Gerhard read her a lecture on the impropriety of her behavior. At first she had secretly reveled in the jealousy he betrayed, seeing it as a sign he was over his infatuation with Marlene. But now. . .
She sighed. It was more than any woman could be expected to bear. She fidgeted with the gold band on her finger. Sometimes the urge to take it off was simply irresistible.
And unaccountable. Gerhard was a good man. And she, the most fortunate woman in Austria, as Mama never failed to remind her.
“Not ready to be tied to one man, are you?” A low, throaty voice jogged Rosalie out of her thoughts.
A woman clad in muted tones, almost entirely covered in a deep indigo cloak, stood by her side. Her lips wore an amused smile; her dark blue eyes had an air of knowing that seemed out of place in one so humbly dressed. She tipped her chin at Rosalie’s ring.
“A little soap will ease it off, and for a few hours you may be free of him.”
“I don’t wish to be free of him,” Rosalie said, resenting the woman’s too-ready assumptions about her feelings.
“No?” The woman’s smile widened. “I must have been mistaken, then.”
Her gesture and tone infuriated Rosalie. “Yes, you were.” she swiveled around.
“Wait!” The woman’s fingers gently touched Rosalie’s arm. “I did not mean to offend you—”
“What is it you want?” Rosalie snapped. “If it is a position at the palace, there is none to be had at the moment.”
“I merely wish to speak with Herr Haydn. Is he within?” The wind, icy in the gray morning, swept the hood off her head, revealing a broad forehead and lustrous, corn-colored hair. She pulled it back up with a quick glance around the alley.
“Then you should go around to the front.” Rosalie gestured toward Wallnerstrasse at the end of the alley.
The woman took a deep breath. “It is a matter of some sensitivity, and I do not wish anyone to know I have been here. Please, I beg of you.”
* * *
About the Author
About the Author
A former journalist, Nupur Tustin relies upon a Ph.D. in Communication and an M.A. in English to orchestrate fictional mayhem. The Haydn mysteries are a result of her life-long passion for classical music and its history. Childhood piano lessons and a 1903 Weber Upright share equal blame for her original compositions, available on ntustin.musicaneo.com.
Her writing includes work for Reuters and CNBC, short stories and freelance articles, and research published in peer-reviewed academic journals. She lives in Southern California with her husband, three rambunctious children, and a pit bull.
3 Free Stories on: http://bit.ly/Haydn_Taste_of_Murder
Free Haydn Mystery at Taste of Murder: http://ntustin.com/tasteofmurder
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