This novel has many elements that I love in a good story that combines a bit of magic, an age-old mystery, and a quirky heroine. Toss in the city of Prague in all its beauty and deep, dark secrets, and you've got a great mix for a story that will keep you turning the pages.
Except for the sex parts. These completely annoyed the hell out of me. I am no prude by any means, but I really didn't think it added to the story in any way that Sarah Weston (our heroine) landed in Prague and was so immediately horny that she let another scholar have his way with her whilst sitting at the dinner table, then followed by a quick bonk in a bathroom with someone she didn't-ahem-turn around to see while doing said bonking. It all seemed so completely unnecessary to me in the scheme of the book, and didn't endear Sarah to me at all as a carefree, fun loving scholar spending the summer in Prague working at a museum.
That is really my only beef with this novel. It almost ruined the whole darn book, and that just irritates the crap out of me. What I did enjoy was the story of Beethoven--which is Sarah's specialty and why she's in Prague. She's determined to find out who his Immortal Beloved is and quickly figures out Prince Max is looking for something in Prague Castle, and someone else is out to stop anyone from finding anything. Toss in a dwarf who pops up here, there, and everywhere, a mysterious symbol, and secrets that involve a high ranking American politician, and it's an entertaining read that just gets better and better as you follow Sarah's quest to keep digging a little deeper into Prague Castle. She's also trying to find out why her mentor, Professor Sherbatsky took a dive out a window at Prague Castle. She's convinced he did not commit suicide, and that he brought Sarah to Prague Castle to solve a mystery involving Beethoven, the Castle, and the Lobkowicz family owners of the castle and its treasures for hundreds of years.
And, I am quite happy that it appears--hopefully--that there will be a sequel on the horizon. It is certainly left open for that, and I would not hesitate to buy it.
Rating: 7/10. Enjoyed the mystery and the clever way music, history, and contemporary politics all mixed together. Felt the addition of sex scenes were unnecessary and took the story off track. Overall, a good read!
Available in paperback and in e-book format.