Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Maestro Wore Mohair

The Maestro Wore Mohair: A Liturgical Mystery
Mark Schweizer
St. James Music Press Books
Tryon, North Carolina
ISBN: 978-0-9844846-8-3
July 2015
$ 13.95
206 pages

"The Maestro was a terror: a choral genius with an AA, a BME, an MME, a Ph.D., and a DMA in conducting from Florida State, which is not a diploma mill.  I don't care what they say.  The letters trailed after her name like educated baby ducks, waddling advertisements of her brilliance.  When she sneezed ( as she often did, being allergic to Eric Whitacre) all the letters flew out her nose and nearby singers gleefully wiped them up with bath towels and sold them on eBay.  This case was coming together like two things come together and make one thing, and there you have it, one final thing. "
These are the words written by Hayden Konig on his old 1939 Underwood typewriter that was once owned by the legendary Raymond Chandler.  Among his many artistic gifts, he writes these almost undecipherable short mysteries to keep his choir members entertained during the sermons on Sunday mornings at St. Barnabas Episcopalian Church in St. Germaine, North Carolina.
Hayden is the police chief of a small law enforcement department in this little Southern town.
St. Germaine does attract one unusual crime.  Murder at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church.   To prove it, he has a loaded gun hidden in the organ bench.
A skull is discovered by two teenaged boys.   One of the boys picked it up, brought it home and even ran it through the dishwasher before placing it on his bookshelf, still having hair hanging off of it.
It would still be there if the other boy hadn't revealed the discovery to his prayer group at St. Barnabas.
Logically, law enforcement went back to the site to reveal most of the skeleton. The local doctor decided the body had been killed about thirty years previously.
How do you solve a thirty-year-old mystery?  The first thing is to identify the body and to figure out what life was like during that time.  With diligence and patience, the police of St. Germaine always solve their cases.
The Maestro Wore Mohair is the thirteenth no.vel in Mark Schweizer's Liturgical Mystery series featuring Hayden Konig and the community of St. Germaine.   Yes, I have read every one of these musically based mysteries.
The author, Mark Schweizer is a musician, composer, author and publisher while residing in Tryon, North Carolina.  He earned a Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Arizona.
Throughout the years, the characters have grown and aged, similar to real life, so it is not a good idea to read these books without understanding the characters.  I highly recommend, to begin the first one in this series, The Alto Wore Tweed.
Part of the reason I enjoy these books is the interweaving of musical history, a light mystery, characters who are unusual and memorable enough to feel like family and I care about how they have changed,  superb choral and organ music suggestions, humor all gathered into a reading event that is fun.

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