Spur of the Moment, by David Linzee
Spur of the Moment (322 pages) is a work of mystery/suspense by David Linzee. When her opera-fundraiser brother is charged with the crime of killing a donor, mezzo-soprano Renata Radleigh takes it upon herself to clear his name. Her investigation will pull her outside the small world of grand opera and into the big-money, high-risk pharmaceutical development game.
Spur of the Moment is Book 1 in the Renata Radleigh Opera Mystery series.
Blackstone Audio version, Final Seconds: “Their seamless collaboration is notable for the efficiency of the plotting and the unusual credibility of the story.” —Publishers Weekly
Housebreaker (Dutton, 1987): “Breathtaking.” —Library Journal
Belgravia (Seaview, 1979/Dell, 1979/Robert Hale, 1981) “Bright… fast-paced… Belgravia is highly recommended.” —People
Discretion (Seaview, 1978/Dell, 1979/Robert Hale, 1981/Droemer Knaur 1979); “Smoothly written, full of action, clever in its plotting.” —NY Times
A lifelong rivalry between opera singer Renata Radleigh and her younger brother Don takes an unexpected turn when Don is accused of murder. He is Saint Louis Opera’s star fundraiser after procuring a last-minute underwriter for its avant-garde production of Carmen. Don is accused of seducing his donor to get the contribution, then killing her after her husband finds out. His alleged victim, Dr. Helen Stromberg-Brand, had invented a vaccine that was expected to earn billions and win her a Nobel.
The scandal shocks Saint Louis and pushes the opera company to the brink. No one cares about defending Don. Only Renata believes he is innocent. Her attempts to clear him lead to warnings of dismissal, threats of arrest, and a brutal assault. She finds an unexpected ally in Peter Lombardo, a former journalist who does PR at the medical center where Helen had made loyal friends and bitter enemies. Peter believes that the trail leading to Helen’s killer begins with the vaccine, not the opera donation. Together they discover that the search for the next wonder drug can inspire greed and vengefulness beyond any opera plot. As their feelings for each other deepen and more corpses turn up, an onstage mishap elevates Renata to the role of Carmen. But the greatest moment of her career may be the last moment of her life.
Says Linzee, “Spur is based on my experiences as a PR man at Washington University Medical School and a volunteer at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, where I chauffeured singers in from the airport and was a supernumerary. The worlds of higher education and opera are rife with over-sized egos and underlying drama. Plenty of fodder there for a whole raft of mystery novels.”
David Linzee was born in St. Louis, where he and his wife currently reside. Besides writing novels and short stories, he has worked in PR, and as a journalist, a science writer, and a teacher. For more information, click here.
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