June 07, 2011
Author and musician Wesley Stace has written one of the world’s few murder-music novels. His background as a musician (by the name John Wesley Harding) supplies the technical knowledge, adding authenticity to this tale of infatuation, love, music, jealousy, and murder. Narrator Lesley Shepherd, a music critic, tells a story at a cocktail party about Gesualdo, a musician who killed his wife in a fit of jealousy. Charles Jessold, a boy wonder of the piano scene, becomes obsessed and inspired by Gesualdo’s legacy and models various aspects of his own life after Gesualdo’s. Shepherd, along with most people who encounter Jessold, in turn becomes somewhat obsessed with Jessold, vying for his attention and even turning a cheek when Jessold takes Shepherd’s wife as a lover.