Death of a Soprano by Nupur Tustin – Excerpt + Giveaway

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Death of a Soprano: A Joseph Haydn Mystery
by Nupur Tustin

About Death of a Soprano

Death of a Soprano: A Joseph Haydn Mystery
Historical Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Eighteenth-century Royal Hungary, Habsburg Empire
Foiled Plots Press (May 27, 2023)
Print length ‏ : ‎ 319 pages

When murder invades Haydn’s opera stage, scandal isn’t far behind . . .

Charged with ensuring that an imperial wedding transpires without mishap, composer Joseph Haydn has his hands full. Barely seventeen, Archduke Ferdinand Karl, the imperial bridegroom, is reluctant to marry. And the bride, Maria Beatrice, has her reservations as well.

But when an extortion note surfaces—an unpleasant reminder of the bridegroom’s shameful past—the wedding seems truly doomed. Worse still, all the evidence points to Haydn’s prima donna, Lucia Pacelli, being the blackmailer.

Before Haydn can confront her, however, Lucia is fatally poisoned. And Haydn is left to wonder whether his imperial charge had a hand in her death.

Troubled by the dark secrets he might uncover, Haydn is nevertheless compelled to investigate. Will the young Archduke be found innocent? Or must Haydn lead His Imperial Highness to the gallows?

Excerpt 1: Haydn faces an agony of indecision. Lucia Pacelli, his prima donna, is an incomparable singer. But could she be involved in seduction and—worse still—extortion?

Haydn stood in the orchestra pit behind his harpsichord and tugged anxiously at his red jacket. The note Rosalie had given him was in his coat pocket. Feeling it rustle beneath his fingers, he cursed himself for not having the courage to dismiss his prima donna.

To think she’d been attempting to extort money from the Archduke—a guest at the palace, a member of the imperial household, no less. And under his very nose at that!

Clearly, Lucia’s audacity knew no bounds.

He looked out over the auditorium, which—dazzling in its rich colors of red, gold, and green—was fast filling up. Paolo, Lucia’s husband, wore the same livery of red and green as the rest of Haydn’s musicians.

Seeing his thin figure rising proudly erect next to Maria Anna, Haydn’s lips puckered in distaste. Was the aged violinist aware of his wife’s disgraceful behavior? Had he put her up to it? Or was he merely content to turn a blind eye to her shenanigans?

God in heaven, Haydn thought, he ought to have dismissed Lucia the moment he’d heard the news.

He fingered the note again. Rosalie had delicately suggested Narcissa or even Trattner as its author. But Haydn had dismissed these possibilities. It was clear who had penned the note.

Who else could it be but Lucia? She was the only person who appeared to know the Archduke’s carefully concealed secret.

About Nupur Tustin

A former journalist, Nupur Tustin relies upon a Ph.D. in Communication and an M.A. in English to orchestrate murder. She also writes the Celine Skye Psychic Mysteries based on the Gardner Museum theft. Childhood piano lessons and a 1903 Weber Upright share equal blame for her musical works.

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5 comments / Add your comment below

  1. A captivating and intriguing mystery which is a real treasure to enjoy and a wonderful and talented author. Thanks for this great feature.

  2. Thanks, Linda. I hope you’ll give it a try. You might also enjoy the Celine Skye Psychic Mysteries about a psychic art sleuth who takes on the unsolved Gardner Museum heist. There’s more information on my website.

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