Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Composer is Dead by Lemony Snicket

Book Jacket

There's dreadful news from the symphony hall—the composer is dead!

If you have ever heard an orchestra play, then you know that musicians are most certainly guilty of something. Where exactly were the violins on the night in question? Did anyone see the harp? Is the trumpet protesting a bit too boisterously?
In this perplexing murder mystery, everyone seems to have a motive, everyone has an alibi, and nearly everyone is a musical instrument. But the composer is still dead.
Perhaps you can solve the crime yourself. Join the Inspector as he interrogates all the unusual suspects. Then listen to the accompanying audio recording featuring Lemony Snicket and the music of Nathaniel Stookey performed by the San Francisco Symphony. Hear for yourself exactly what took place on that fateful, well-orchestrated evening.


I love Lemony Snicket.  His sense of humor and love of language can nearly always make me squee like a fangirl, which can be embarrassing if I'm reading in public.  His short story about an orchestral murder, The Composer is Dead, lacks none of his usual charm and whimsy.

As a former band nerd, I was sad that saxophones were not included in the story's lineup, but Snicket would probably say something quippy about how saxophones are always forgotten.  His personifications of instruments (from the giggly flutes to the flattering reed instruments to the lonely old bachelor tuba) are just spot on. 

"The Violins answered first, of course.  The violin section is divided into First Violins, who have the trickier parts to play, and the Second Violins, who are more fun at parties."

And the mystery's answer?  Is clever and heartwarming all at the same time.  Brilliant.

Five out of five dead composers.

Release Date:  March 2009
Reading Level:  Grade K+
Where In Dunlap Public Library's Collection:  J SNI

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