THE VANISHING VIOLINIST by Sara Hoskinson Frommer


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Widow Joan Spencer, accomplished violist and director of’ the Senior Center in the tiny town of Oliver, Indiana, is all but engaged to Detective Lieutenant Fred Lundquist of the local PD (Murder in C Major, 1986, etc.). Now, a call from her daughter Rebecca, away at college, tells Joan about Rebecca’s own new fiancÇ, Bruce Graham, who’s coming to Indianapolis (near Oliver) to compete in the notoriously tough International Violin Competition. Meantime, Dr. Bob and Polly Osborne, Bruce’s hosts in Indianapolis, invite Joan to a picnic. It’s there that she gets to meet other host families and the contestants enjoying their hospitality. Among them are Nate Lloyd and his mother Cindy from Louisville; Uwe Frech from Stuttgart; and Camila Pereira from Brazil, proud owner of a Stradivarius. The competition is barely underway when Uwe breaks a bone in his hand and Camila’s Strad turns up missing, soon to be followed by her own disappearance. At the same time, Fred’s police department is mourning the hit-and-run death of their own Sergeant Kyle Pruitt. It takes a call to Joan from an intuitive schoolgirl to chart the means and motives behind all the unhappy events. Heavily laden with domestic comings and goings, as well as with long passages analyzing the music and skills of the players. Still, there’s enough interest and suspense here to hold most readers to the end of Frommer’s fourth, her best to date.

Pub Date: Sept. 3rd, 1999
ISBN: 0-312-24104-6
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 1999


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