The Hidden Auditorium
by Rosanne Dingli
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Nearly a hundred and thirty years after the death of composer Richard Wagner in Venice, antiques dealer Nic Manton is led to a piece of jewellery. Hearsay and tradition say the valuable pendant bears a secret about the composer’s last days. Manton feels it provides a solution to his precarious finances. With no idea of its meaning or provenance, he can’t understand why the pendant aggravates rather than solves his problems. Its apparent owner is beautiful but erratic. She leads him from Venice to Malta on a chase that becomes more perplexing and dangerous than the dealer in bric-a-brac bargains for. A melancholic widow and a brilliant but vague professor have the skills and intelligence to be able help. But Manton doubts they will.
The Hidden Auditorium provides a quantity of historically accurate factors. It tells a feasible story that makes readers wonder about the way all history is recorded, and what factors fuel those who write it. Nic Manton, an antiques dealer working in Rome, pursues a cryptic mystery and follows clues, falls in love, stumbles on an unhealthy obsession, and finally sees how Wagner constructed myths around his life. This novel fills obvious mysterious gaps in Richard Wagner’s biographies. It is a complex story with many layers constructed around available facts. In a contemporary novel full of mystery, romance, and the thrills of a quest, readers will find a great deal of verifiable evidence.