Putnam, Jul 2001, 24.95, 420 pp.
By 1795 the impact of the French Revolution is being felt in all ways of life across the Channel, but especially among the Ton. England and France are at war, so the Home Office suspects the numerous exiles of conducting espionage in support of either Napoleon or a restoration.
Home Office Agent John Absey earns a living searching for spies, but has little interest in his work except for applying his skills and experience on a personal matter. John is obsessed with uncovering the killer of his runaway teenage daughter. He soon discovers two similar murders. Evidence points towards the Company of Titius astronomers who claim they seek the missing orb between Mars and Jupiter. John forces his half-brother to help gain him entrance to the group. John soon begins to find a planet load of suspects, who might be using celestial numbers to transmit coded messages to France and who could also be hiding a serial killer among them.
THE MUSIC OF SPHERES is an exciting Regency tale that contains a strong who-one-it and an even more powerful espionage subplot that deftly merge into a fantastic historic fiction. The story line provides layers of insight into the era, especially the rising interest in astronomy and the relationship between the English aristocracy and the French émigrés. John is an engaging character filled with guilt over his daughter, but uses guilt as a weapon to gain what he wants. Though at times the reader will feel they are drowning in the depths, Elizabeth Redfern has written a terrific tale that will delight cross genres fans.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner