The Iron Tongue of Midnight
This fourth volume in the series featuring castrato opera singer Tito Amato is the author’s tribute to the country house mystery.
In September 1740, Tito and his brother-in-law, English painter Gussie Rumbolt, arrive at a villa on the Venetian mainland. Tito has been invited to sing the lead role in an opera by a German composer with whom the mistress of the villa, an ambitious woman with musical pretensions, is having an affair. Tito is astonished to discover that one of his fellow singers is his own long-lost sister Grisella, last seen sailing to Constantinople. Soon the body of a stranger turns up, killed by the pendulum of an enormous clock just as it was about to strike midnight. With the local constable off hunting, Tito decides to do his own investigations.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Myers gives us wonderful insights into the world of 18th-century opera, with its jealousies and intrigues between the members of the opera company. The book can be read on its own, but, since part of the enjoyment of the series comes from following Tito’s career and family relationships, it is best to begin with the first volume, Interrupted Aria.