The news arrives in a letter to his sister, Nannerl, in December 1791. But the message carries more than word of Nannerl's brother's demise. Two months earlier, Mozart confided to his wife that his life was rapidly drawing to a close... and that he knew he had been poisoned.
In Vienna to pay her final respects, Nannerl soon finds herself ensnared in a web of suspicion and intrigue - as the actions of jealous lovers, sinister creditors, rival composers, and Mozart's Masonic brothers suggest that dark secrets hastened the genius to his grave. As Nannerl digs deeper into the mystery surrounding her brother's passing, Mozart's black fate threatens to overtake her as well.
Transporting readers to the salons and concert halls of eighteenth-century Austria, Mozart's Last Aria is a magnificent historical mystery that pulls back the curtain on a world of soaring music, burning passion, and powerful secrets.
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"Starred Review. A beautiful book illuminated by the author's own musical background that moves slowly and deliberately to a fine conclusion." - Kirkus Reviews
"Combining Dan Brown or Elizabeth Kostovastyle historical conspiracy theory with cozy detective novel, Rees's latest offers a genuinely felt reverence for the power of Mozart's music and its lasting impact in the world." - Publishers Weekly
"Matt Rees has drawn a lively portrait of eighteenth-century Vienna and of characters whose names now live only because of their connection with the composer. This novel is well researched, very clever, and written in clean, suitably formal language..." - The Literary Review (UK)
"The trouble about anyone trying to create a new myth about the mysterious demise of music's sublime genius is that Peter Schaffer did such a good job at pinning it on Salieri. Rees has made an admirable effort at another answer... A very readable historical mystery romp." - The Times (UK)
"Mozart, music, and murder seamlessly blend together in this fascinating historical mystery. A perfect read to go with a crackling fire and a pot of hot chocolate." - Tess Gerritsen, author of The Silent Girl
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Journalist and author Matt Beynon Rees was born in Wales in 1967 and studied at Oxford University and the University of Maryland. He then worked as a financial reporter in London, Washington D.C. and New York before becoming the first Middle East correspondent for The Scotsman in 1996. He speaks fluent Arabic and lives in Jerusalem.
As a journalist, he has covered the Middle East for over a decade, with the vast majority of that time spent among Palestinians and Israelis. He's a Contributor for Time based in Jerusalem, where he was the magazine's bureau chief from June 2000 until January 2006. In 2004 he published a nonfiction account of the divisions within Israeli and Palestinian societies called Cain's Field: Faith, Fratricide, and Fear in the Middle East.
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