The Violin Conspiracy

by Brandon Slocum is a thrilling mystery that also explores racism in classical music and the cost, both literal and metaphorical, of pursuing one’s passion. Growing up as a Black music student, Rayquan McMillian is gifted his grandfather’s old violin and, with it, embarks on the precipitous career trajectory of a highly talented classical musician. When Ray wins a scholarship to college, he discovers that his family heirloom is in fact a Stradivarius, worth millions of dollars. As soon as this information comes to light, Ray’s family tries to get the Stradivarius back--but, more sinisterly, so does another white family, the descendants of the man who enslaved Ray’s ancestors. When Ray’s violin goes missing, a mystery ensues, one that is wrapped up in power, privilege, and the daily realities of and sacrifices required to be a classical musician.