Ivan Davis, former editor turned private detective, loves opera almost as much as he loves good food and sexy sopranos. Singing in the chorus at the Opera Cafe in Santa Monica combines all of his pleasures. But when the father of his lovely young conductor disappears in Santa Fe while hunting down a previously unknown opera by Mozart and Daponte, Ivan agrees to look for him--and finds himself attacked by a ferocious tenor, chased through the streets of Venice by a deadly BMW, and fighting for his life on a New Mexico reservation.
A Hard Shell Word Factory Release
DICK ADLER has been an editor and writer for newspapers and magazines in New York, London and -- for the last 28 years -- in Los Angeles. He has co-authored two non-fiction books, one with the late California Governor Edmund G. (Pat) Brown, and has also written for television. He presently reviews mysteries and thrillers for Amazon.com, the Chicago Tribune, Publishers Weekly and his own Crime Watch web site:http://www.epinions.com/user-dickadler
Adler lives in Venice, CA with his wife, the historian and archivist Jane Wilson. They visit their two grown children in the San Francisco area as often as possible
"The Mozart Code is a well crafted mystery, with a likeable hero. The experience turned out to be not much different from regular reading. Once I got caught up in the story, I had a hard time putting it down."--Rafael Vazquez, a hand bookbinder in Richmond, VA "The hero takes all sorts of different, at first-unrelated, pieces and pulls them together into an intensely satisfying conclusion. The author, Dick Adler, is a quite clever fellow and I would dearly love to meet him one day. E can count on my being a fan ... of his work. An incredible read! Highly entertaining!"Buzzy's Review News
"The Mozart Code is a one-of-a-kind mystery that grabs your imagination and spins a delightful tale. I can hardly wait to read future work by Dick Adler."Just Views -- In the Cabinet Drawer
"Dick Adler reviews mystery novels for The Chicago Tribune, but with The Mozart Code he proves that the critic can also play the game. And score. Slick as a whiskey shot and smooth as a beer chaser, The Mozart Code falls into a category all its own. It follows the tradition of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett, but with a wink and a nudge. Call it "genteel noir"--soft-boiled, but hard in all the right places. In fact, that might describe Adler's hero, private eye Ivan Davis."BookPage
SHOP TILL YOU DROP
The bogus UPS man was now holding a gun. Like the purple and green running shoes, I was sure it wasn't a regular part of the uniform. "Back off, fat man. And put your hands up -- high!"
It was the running shoes that had first caught my attention. Wearing a Santa Claus suit that didn't need much extra padding and a fake beard pasted over my real one, I was standing outside of Praeger's Jewelry Store on the third floor of the Westside Pavilion, ringing my bell and trying to get a line on how large quantities of merchandise were slipping out of the shop almost every day without being paid for. I had noticed UPS men and women coming and going several times a day, which seemed perfectly normal for the holiday season. But the rest all wore those standard issue shiny brown brogans.
This guy, who came in once a day at about the same time, didn't fit the pattern. So I watched through the window as he went over to a woman behind the counter, and noticed that she looked around nervously before dropping half a dozen small packages into his sack. It wouldn't be the first time that someone inside a store had figured out a new way to steal.
"Mind if I look at those?" I said as quietly as I could to the UPS man as he came out of Praeger's. "Security," I added, flashing the badge I'd been given when I took the job.
That's when he pulled out his gun and started shouting. I wasn't carrying anything more lethal than a small Swiss Army knife, buried deep under my Santa suit. If I could get it out, I might stab him with my ivory toothpick. On the other hand, his noise had already attracted the attention of several other Santas who were real cops and carried real guns.
There were too many possible hostages around; I had to do something before he thought of grabbing one. I started to raise my hands, and as naturally as I could, I also began to swing my sack of toys toward his gun hand. The idea was to knock his hand away long enough for one of the armed Santas to get his own gun out. But I must have swung harder than I thought; the sack caught his arm and then his jaw and lifted him backwards, off balance. He hit the guardrail and kept on going, up and over and down three floors to the gallery below. I heard the screams from down there and hoped he hadn't taken any shoppers with him.
He hadn't. The screams came from people upset by the sight of a body in a brown suit suddenly dumped into the Pavilion's decorative fountain....