When the Music Stopped
In 1927, Guy Rigby deserted his wife, embezzled $250,000 from his own bank and dashed off to France with Mary Ann Esmond, whom he eventually married, and who went on to become a renowned pianist. Now widowed, Mary Ann and her sister, Emma, a violinist, have boldly returned to Maine despite the whispers their presence continues to provoke. The talented ladies endear themselves to the narrator, novelist Eden Winter; she, however, is fated to discover their bodies, mutilated by an ax-wielding intruder. There are plenty of suspects: Robbie Mackenzie, who had vainly implored Mary Ann for piano lessons; mysterious newcomer Nick Raintree; Lucas Wolcott, a vicious drunkard whose physically abused daughter was staying with the sisters; or someone still seeking revenge for Guy's betrayal years ago. An ominous undercurrent of cruelty, death and violence runs throughout the storyan effective contrast to the town's tranquil beauty and clannish quaintness. The murderer's identity is a genuine shocker.
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