Cover image for The vanishing violinist : a Joan Spencer mystery
The vanishing violinist : a Joan Spencer mystery
Frommer, Sara Hoskinson.
Personal Author:
First St. Martin's Minotaur edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Press, 1999.
Physical Description:
229 pages ; 22 cm
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"Joan Spencer's daughter, Rebecca, falls for a virtuoso violinist at an international competition in Indianapolis, and Joan is drawn into a swarm of violinists, their host families, and their unspoken rivalries. When a rare Stradivarius is stolen, and then the seductive violinist who owned it vanishes, Rebecca's amiable fiance is the prime suspect. With her own fiance, Lt. Fred Lundquist, working a fatal hit-and-run in town, it's up to Joan to uncover the simmering tensions beneath the players and to string together a theft, a disappearance, and a murder."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

A warm cozy with a most appealing heroine. Widowed, fortysomething Joan Spencer from tiny Oliver, Indiana, has finally breached the last hurdle, and she and police officer Fred Lundquist have decided to marry. She's just about to call her daughter, Rebecca, in New York to tell her the news when Rebecca calls her, breathlessly announcing that she is getting married. Rebecca's intended, Bruce, is coming to Indianapolis for the International Violin Competition, and Rebecca hopes that Joan can meet him. Bruce turns out to be a terrific guy, but another competitor has her Stradivarius stolen and then disappears herself. The hit-and-run death of a local cop further distracts Joan and Fred from their wedding plans. The rhythms of small-town life, a good bit about music and musical competition, and the contrasts of Joan's easy relationship with her son and her fraught relationship with her daughter dovetail nicely with twinned mysteries that turn out, of course, to be connected. --GraceAnne A. DeCandido

Publisher's Weekly Review

Love's in the air in the fourth Joan Spencer cozy (after Murder & Sullivan). While Joan is planning her wedding with Det. Lt. Fred Lundquist in Oliver, Ind., her daughter calls from New York to say she's engaged to one Bruce Graham, a classical musician who will be participating in an international violin competition in nearby Indianapolis. Joan gets a chance to meet her future son-in-law when she's invited to a picnic given by the families who help to host the competition. Tragedy strikes when a German violinist slams his hand into a stone planter while trying to catch a Frisbee, ending his chances to compete. Then a Brazilian musician has her Stradivarius stolen immediately before her first concert. Gamely, she plays on a borrowed instrument, performing well enough to make the cut. Before the second round, however, she vanishes, and the police suspect Bruce of taking her instrument and being involved in her disappearance. Prompted by her daughter's assurances that Bruce is incapable of such crimes, Joan leaps to his defense and decides she must help Fred find the real culprit. Frommer's latest emphasizes Joan's gentle levelheadedness and Fred's devotion to her. It's a well-plotted tale, as the author keeps readers guessing as to whether Bruce is as sweet as he seems, and wisely picks up the pace once the culprit has been identified. The novel's highlights, however, are the exceptional descriptions of the musical performances, passages in which Frommer proves herself, at least for a moment or two, a Paganini of prose. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Widow Joan Spencer manages a civic orchestra in Oliver, IN, but she still has time for family. Her daughter's intended, Bruce, will vie for fame in the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, and Joan will look out for himÄwith help from her own fianc‚, police detective Fred. Events turn sour when someone steals a competitor's Stradivarius and police blame Bruce. Then the competitor herself disappears, while back in Oliver a hit-and-run murder baffles Fred. Small-town doings mixed with uptown music appreciation make for light entertainment with a shiver or two. For all collections. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.