Susanne Dunlap's young adult book, The Musician's Daughter is a historical fiction novel set in Vienna, Austria in the eighteenth century. This novel is full of suspense and intrigue as Theresa, a musician's daughter is thrown into a murder mystery involving the death of her father. Theresa and her family are not wealthy, although they are able to afford the instruments they find essential to their life. When her father's lifeless body is discovered along the banks of the Danube amid a gypsy settlement, Theresa cannot believe the story about her father's death and does her own investigation. She is shocked to find his connection with the gypsies who he had been befriending. When her father's coworkers (his fellow musicians) tell Theresa what they had been working on, the group of them work together to try and help the gypsies regain what was rightfully theirs, and in the process solve the mystery of her father's death.
This book was fast paced and suspenseful, as well as interesting. I seem to have picked up a number of historical fiction young adult books from the library all with the musical connection such as this one. I might not have normally been interested in a book with gypsy characters, and was happily surprised by this addition to the story. While this is fiction, the presence of real-life musician Haydn added an element of reality to this wonderful story.
Dunlap's writing was easy to read and after checking out her website today, I am happy to see that her new book, Anastasia's Secret will be published in March 2010. Her work is something I hope to read more of.
Visit Susanne Dunlap's website.