'Cloudy With a Chance of Murder' Review

By Stephen DanknerSpecial to iBerkshires
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Steve Dankner, a guest classical music writer, whose preview coverage of the summer music festival season at Tanglewood and at other regional performance venues will begin in June, has sent in a musical murder-mystery book review that should be of interest to music lovers.
 
Gerald Elias, the brilliantly gifted violinist and mystery writer, who hails from Salt Lake City, has published the latest – the seventh - in his series of musical whodunits, "Cloudy With a Chance of Murder."
 
A fast-paced page-turner, the action takes place on a rustic, isolated island in the Great Salt Lake – the summer home of the Antelope Island Music Festival – where devoted listeners congregate each summer to hear world-class musical virtuosi perform great classical chamber music.
 
Only this summer, sub rosa jealousies and sworn vendettas are also on the program…along with Bach and Mendelssohn.
 
Author Elias, a Tanglewood violinist, artfully and with meticulous detail taps into his insider knowledge of summer music festival lore to set the scene for the action: how an innocent, but ‘politically incorrect' remark among musical friends and colleagues snowballs into a devastating – and deadly – chain of events. Lives and careers are in the balance, and how, due to a freak, catastrophic summer hailstorm, there's no escape for the musicians and festivalgoers to exit the devastated festival grounds. The deranged murderer, too, is stranded, and given the opportunity, he'll attempt to kill again; no one is safe!
 
Only Elias could paint such a picture with classical music as its backdrop. The prescient, all-knowing yet blind violinist/mentor/detective hero, Daniel Jacobus joins with and enables his young protégé, the brilliant violinist
virtuoso Yumi Shinegawa in uncovering the tale's twists and turns, taking the reader on an exhilarating musical ride: an Allegro con brio to the end, where all the pieces of this intricate musical puzzle come together, culminating in a final, climactic presto delirioso. Most highly recommended.

Tags: books,   classical music,   mystery,   

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'Gatsby in Connecticut' at Ventfort Hall

LENOX, Mass. Filmmaker and director Robert Steven Williams will show his documentary film "Gatsby in Connecticut," at Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum on Saturday, May 21 at 3:30 pm. 
 
The seventy-minute film will be followed by a discussion about the making of the documentary by Mr. Williams. Attendees are encouraged to wear 1920's inspired attire. 
 
A special tea will be served following the program.
 
According to Williams, the writer's inspiration came not from his time spent on Long Island's Gold Coast, but rather from the wild summer of 1920 in Connecticut where the Fitzgeralds lived next door to a mystery millionaire who threw wild parties.
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