Symphony of Secrets

Symphony of Secrets by Brendan Slocumb is a thriller by the author of The Violin Conspiracy. Like its predecessor, Symphony of Secrets is a propulsive novel set amid the world of classical music.  Bern Hendricks, a music professor at the University of Virginia, is excited when he’s selected for an unusual project: creating a new score based on a recently discovered lost masterpiece by 20th-century white composer Frederick Delaney. But as Hendricks and his colleague, Eboni Washington, delve into the project, evidence they gather throws suspicion on the origins of the newly found music--and possibly on all of Delaney’s work. The novel then moves back in time to the Jazz Age to focus on Delaney’s career and his relationship with the brilliant Black musician Josephine Reed, whose talent is frequently dismissed because of her race. Symphony of Secrets tantalizing unspools its historical mystery while interrogating the practices of cultural appropriation and whitewashing in the history of the arts. This is a fascinating read.