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The musician's daughter
Book
2009
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Trade Reviews

  Booklist Review

In Liszt's Kiss (2007) and her other novels for adults, Dunlap creates gripping mysteries, awash in European history, that imagine the lives of great musicians. In her first youth title, she builds on that same formula in a suspenseful story set in eighteenth-century Vienna. Fifteen-year-old Theresa Maria is devastated when her father, a court violinist, is murdered. While her pregnant mother is bedridden, Theresa must keep her family afloat, and she finds work with her godfather, Franz Joseph Haydn, who helps her unravel the circumstances behind her father's death and tells her about her father's secret life as a political reformer on behalf of the serfs and the Romany population. Dunlap skillfully builds suspense until the final page, as Theresa follows clues through smoky Gypsy camps and opulent palace halls, sustained by her desire to uphold her father's values: justice, fairness and most of all music. Readers will root for courageous Theresa through the exciting intrigue even as they absorb deeper messages about music and art's power to lift souls and inspire change.--Engberg, Gillian Copyright 2008 Booklist

  Kirkus Review

A 15-year-old living in 18th-century Vienna finds herself entwined in political intrigue when she boldly investigates her father's puzzling murder. A violinist in composer Franz Joseph Haydn's orchestra at the court of Hungarian Prince Esterhazy, Theresa's father inspired her love of music. When his body is found under mysterious circumstances near a Gypsy camp along the Danube and his violin goes missing, Theresa is determined to uncover the truth. Her search leads her into the forbidden Gypsy camps, glittering ballrooms and dank sewers of Imperial Vienna. The spirited, impetuous Theresa tells her own story, allowing readers to experience the immediacy of rapidly unfolding events amidst the glamour and turmoil of Haydn's Vienna. As Theresa discovers her father's role in a controversial cause supporting Hungarian serfs, she encounters deception and danger as well as honor and loyalty. While Theresa's nave and headstrong pursuit of her father's murderer tests credibility, she's a gutsy, sympathetic heroine who remains true to her friends, in a fast-paced historical adventure that offers a hint of romance. (Historical fiction. 12-16) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Summary
Amid the glitter and glamour of musical and court life in 18th century Vienna, fifteen-year-old Theresa Maria Shurman is trying to solve a brutal mystery. Who killed her father, an acclaimed violinist, and stole his valuable Amati violin? When Haydn himself offers her a position as his assistant, it gives Theresa access to life in the palace-and to a world of deceit. Theresa uncovers blackmail and extortion even as she discovers courage and honor in unexpected places: from a Gypsy campon the banks of the Danube, to the rarefied life of the imperial family. And she feels the stirrings of a first, tentative love for someone who is as deeply involved in the mystery as she is.
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