There’s a very interesting mystery in Simon Boswell’s debut novel, The Seven Symphonies, which features Helsinki homicide detective Miranda Lewis. Miranda has a musical background, as her father is a musicologist and her sister, Rosie, is a cellist. Miranda’s knowledge about music in general and Jean Sibelius in particular comes in very useful when a young woman’s body is found propped against the monument to Sibelius in Helsinki’s Sibelius Park. The woman’s been strangled and her little finger cut off. Next to her is a violin. Then, another body is found. It’s not long before Miranda and her investigation team realize that they’re on the trail of a serial killer. This isn’t an ordinary killer, though; each of the murders is related in some way to one of Sibelius’ symphonies. Also, after each murder, the killer sends a letter to the police; the letters contain cryptic references to the symphonies, a quotation from Sibelius’ diary, the victim’s fingerprint and the signature, JS. Once Miranda realizes that these murders are tied in with the Sibelius symphonies, she also realizes that she and her team don’t have much time to find the killer. Besides the crimes that are at the center of the plot, this novel also includes a lot of interesting information on Sibelius, his life and his music.
from "Give Be the Beat, Boys, and Free my Soul", Confessions of a Mystery Novelist
May I also recommend the excellent non-mystery novel Winter Fire by William R. Trotter.
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