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Paris-Cincinnati, June 1965:

Augusta McKee, former opera singer and professor of music for two Cincinnati colleges, is enjoying her idyllic European honeymoon with Homicide Detective Malcolm Mitchell––until the day a fellow faculty member at the Conservatory of Music, a violinist and member of the Chrysanthemum String Quartet, is found dead in the same Paris hotel where they are staying. Within a week, a second member of the same quartet dies in Cincinnati under suspicious circumstances.

    Why would anyone want to kill off a string quartet?

––And more important, are the two remaining members in danger?

Malcolm, lead investigator in the case, and amateur sleuth Augusta learn of a mysterious cellist whose dismissal from the group might be grounds for revenge—except Anton Portnov died a year earlier in an automobile accident.

Then there’s the flamboyant local artist and mystery writer who hints at Portnov not being who he claimed to be; while at the same time, a lovely young usher at the Cincinnati Summer Opera—with a mysterious past of her own—shows an unusual interest in the quartet’s new cellist.

Could either of these people be the killer?

Malcolm and Augusta find themselves on the case in this gripping international murder mystery––uncovering clues and searching for suspects before the Chrysanthemum String Quartet plays their final note.


Cover and art by Taylor Van Kooten

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