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Her Deadly Mischief    by Beverle Graves Myers order for
Her Deadly Mischief
by Beverle Graves Myers
Order:  USA  Can
Poisoned Pen, 2009 (2009)
Hardcover, Audio, CD
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Whilst singing a lead role in an opera in Venice in the year 1742, castrato Tito Amato witnesses a woman falling to her death from a fourth-tier box. The unfortunate woman, Zulietta Giardino, is a courtesan involved with a young glass maker a member of the famous glass-making family of Murano. The chief of police entreats Tito to help him in his investigation.

Tito has created enough problems at home by marrying a Jewess from the ghetto, although Tito and his wife and his wife's son are happy with their lives. It is her family that disapproves. Tito refuses to allow this to affect his singing and puts his heart and soul into opera.

Author Beverle Graves Myers fell in love with opera at age nine. Her knowledge of this entertainment is vast and she shares her expertise with the reader. She also shares her knowledge of history gained at the University of Louisville where she earned a degree in medicine. Putting all of her background into her novels, she has created an interesting series that would challenge any mystery buff.

Tito is an unusual character in this genre, a castrato with the voice of a god, happily married and induced at times to help solve a mysterious death. His travels help to put the reader in his time and place. Her Deadly Mischief also gives a bird's eye view behind the stage performances from the personalities that make up the highly charged cast to the castration of young boys to preserve their voices.

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