20 May 2011 0 Comments

The Guardian: MOZART’S LAST ARIA ‘new direction…camply knowing’

It’s surely hard to startle a British journalist, so I’m rather pleased to see that I managed to do so. The Guardian leads its thriller roundup this weekend with my new novel MOZART’S LAST ARIA. Reviewer John O’Connell says: “Israel-based Welshman Rees is best known for his thrillers featuring Palestinian detective Omar Yussef. Mozart’s Last Aria represents a new direction of startling proportions, swapping present-day Bethlehem for 18-century Vienna. When Mozart dies, six weeks after telling his wife that he has been poisoned, his estranged sister Nannerl turns detective, scrutinising old scores, journals and the like, until she discovers Wolfgang’s role in a vast Masonic conspiracy. Did the composer encode his final opera, The Magic Flute, with the secrets of his own demise? This is camply knowing stuff that makes no claim to historical authenticity. (Most experts believe Mozart died of rheumatic fever.) Rees says he used “meditation and concentration techniques” to think his way into the lives of Nannerl and Wolfgang, and based the plot structure on Mozart’s Piano Sonata in A minor.” O’Connell’s very British and somewhat arch reference to my techniques for working on the novel and structuring it refer to a couple of essays in my website’s Extra Features section. And if O’Connell wants to see something truly “camply knowing,” he ought to watch my book trailer, in which I dress up as Mozart. White wig and silk stockings. Camp, indeed, darling.

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