I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Great writing, great dry humour.
Gianni Castiglione is an elderly luthier (someone who makes and repairs violins) and enjoys his monthly get-together with fellow luthier Tomaso and 2 other friends to play chamber-quartets. After making some mysterious remarks about being on a "quest" Tomaso is murdered the same evening. Gianni and his policeman friend Guastafeste decide to follow Tomaso's footsteps and enter the cut-throat world of violin-dealing. They find out that Tomaso was on the trail of a precious long-lost Stradivari. But he was not the only one who wanted it.
Violins can become legendary and priceless, full of mystique and surprises. This is the first of a mystery series with luthier Gianni and his friend and detective Guastafeste following an historic trail. Very interesting read - you don't have to like classical music to enjoy the twists and turns as the secrets reveal the path to the location of a priceless violin. A fascinating look at the world of violin collecting, with a couple of grisly murders and even a love story. I enjoyed the writing style and learned a lot about violins!
I thoroughly enjoyed this British author's effort which is set in Italy. While the mystery element of the story was not so compelling, the setting, descriptions of Italian life and the lessons learned about violins and violin making were very enjoyable. I'm already looking forward to reading the next in the series.
Interesting characters and setting in Italy form a foundation for a mystery involving - violins! I learned so much about the making of and the counterfeiting of violins. The Quartet of the title are an interesting combination of amateur musicians including, of course, a police inspector.
Really good mystery; only wish the author would continue writing more. There is one more, Paganini's Ghost. Check it out, too!