• Posted on: 18 July 2010
  • By: mysterylovescompany

Dear readers...

Here's my new Killer Book recommendation for IMBA.

Don't miss it. You can order it form us at

Stay cool,


THE STRANGE CASE OF THE COMPOSER AND HIS JUDGE. by PatriciaDuncker.Bloomsbury, $15.00. (Recommended by Kathy Harig, Mystery Loves CompanyBooksellers, Oxford MD)

This haunting and exceptional book begins with a "departure"-- a horrific scene which hunters come across in the Jura Mountains in France. Nine dead adults and their children whose bodies have been carefully arranged in the snow, died on January 1, 2001. Arriving at the scene soon after Commissaire Andre Schweigen is DominiqueCarpentier," Madame Le Juge," an investigator of sects. She has made it her job to investigate this and other extreme religious groups. The case is similar to one in 1984 when Andre and Le Juge worked as partners. Once again they are thrown together and Andre has very strong feelings for Dominique, although he is married.

Dominique is a strong, dispassionate woman and takes the lead in the case.Her job is to put together the evidence and present it to the Republic of France. Her young well-pierced and tattooed assistantGaelle brings to mind CLSI. The women work as a well-oiled machine to hunt down evidence while Andre frantically calls and emails the women to try to stay connected.

Then investigators discover an ancient book tucked away in the cabin of the"departed." Written in many languages and codes she can't decipher Dominique tracks down the printer of the book in Lubeck,and discovers that it was rebound many years ago for Friedrich Grosz, The Composer, a world famous Lubeck conductor. She believes this charismatic seventy year old man is at the center of the group calling themselves The Faith. She also can't deny that she is growing ever closer to him as he seduces her with his music and his philosophy.

Although primarily a metaphysical mystery, the action ranges from Strasbourg, to the vineyards of Languedoc, to Lubeck, to London, tocastle sin Lausanne, and massive telescopes in Cheshire. It talks about death,dying, rebirth and the music of the spheres.

I can only use the words extraordinary to describe this book. I will remember it for a long time. Recommended for readers of music, astronomy and literary fiction and fans of Louise Penny, Fred Vargas and ArturoPerez-Reverte.

Kathy Harig