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Paganini’s Ghost

A Giovanni Castiglione novel by Paul Adam

Paganini's Ghost features the
luthier-detective Giovanni Castiglione
Paganini’s Ghost is another enjoyable musical mystery set in Cremona in Lombardy, from Paul Adam, the author of The Rainaldi Quarter (first published as Sleeper). 

In this novel, the historical figure of virtuoso violinist Niccolo Paganini is at the centre of the story. Paganini’s famous violin, Il Cannone - the cannon - is kept in a museum in Genoa and is only ever played at special concerts by top virtuoso violinists who have won international competitions.

A young Russian virtuoso violinist, Yevgeny Ivanov, has been given the honour of playing Il Cannone in the cathedral in Cremona, the city where Il Cannone was originally made by the luthier Guarneri del Gesù.

When the violin suffers slight damage, Ivanov turns to retired Cremonese luthier Giovanni Castiglione for help with detecting the fault and, as a result, the two men become friends.

Castiglione attends Ivanov’s concert in the cathedral and the subsequent reception at the town hall. 

The next day, his friend, the detective Antonio Guastafeste, is called in to investigate the death of a Parisian art dealer, whose body was found in his hotel room the day after the concert.

He co-opts Castiglione to aid his investigation, with the permission of the police, because the art dealer had a fragment of sheet music in his wallet that had belonged to Ivanov. 

The real Il Cannone, as played by Paganini in the 19th century, is kept in a museum in Genoa
The real Il Cannone, as played by Paganini in the
19th century, is kept in a museum in Genoa
The mild-mannered retired luthier once again finds himself on the trail of a murderer and he is faced with trying to unravel a musical mystery that has been unsolved for more than a century.

Castiglione and Guastafeste discover a tantalising tangle of love, deception, and greed, and they follow a trail that leads back to the great Paganini and his lover, Elisa Bonaparte, the sister of Napoleon, and also involves Catherine the Great of Russia.

The pair must solve a mystery that dates back more than a century to give them the answer to this modern-day murder.

Paganini’s Ghost - book two of Adams’s Cremona Mysteries trilogy - is packed with fascinating historical and musical details and also provides the reader with a gripping mystery that will keep them turning the pages.

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