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The Quarter Note Tales Paperback – April 24, 2006

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Arthur Wenk's The Quarter Note Tales ($23.95 signed trade paperbacks) is a delightful collection of three novellas, featuring Axel Crochet, professor of music history. At a hundred or so pages each, but with the small type and slim margins, these are plenty long enough to give the author space to flesh out the characters, throw in lots of stuff about composers and music history, develop intricate plots and throw in enough academic small-mindedness and bureaucratic nonsense to keep you hooked and laughing all the way.
(J.D. Singh, The Merchant of Menace, July 2006)

Arthur Wenk, probably best known to the music community for his work on Debussy has turned his attention to the genre of mystery. The characters are believable and may remind readers of people they know. The denouements move quickly, and readers should have no trouble figuring out whodunit. Axel places himself in physical danger each time, but manages to elude the killers. All-in-all, while this volume may not join the ranks of timeless mysteries, it is a delightful read.  (BONNA J. BOETTCHER, Music Library Association Notes)

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Wingate Press (April 24, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0973856513
  • ISBN-13: 978-0973856514
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,022,757 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

After completing a twenty-year career as a musicologist and a second twenty-year career as a calculus teacher, Arthur Wenk began writing mystery fiction with the publication of "The Quarter Note Tales" in 2006 (Wingate Press). Since then he has produced a series of novellas featuring sleuth Axel Crochet: "New Quarter Note Tales: Axel in Quebec" (2010); "Axel Crochet: Musicologist-at-Large" (2011); and "Quarter Note Tales #4: An Axel Crochet Trilogy" (2013). At present, Dr. Wenk is a psychotherapist in private practice in Oakville, Ontario and music director at Jubilee United Church in Toronto.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Anders R. Sterner on July 2, 2006
Format: Paperback
My copy of my friend Arthur Wenk's Quarter Note Tales arrived from Amazon yesterday. It contains three novellas. I've just finished the first, "An Unfaltering Trust."

Actually, I started it this morning, intending to work through it over the next few days. But as soon as I started I got hooked. I ended up reading it straight through, struggling only to read slowly enough to savor Art's wit and language.

Art, it turns out, is really good. I made no allowances for friendship, I cut no slack for the first-time writer. Still, the critic in me was reduced to quibbling with an "as if" instead of as "as though," and the placement, or lack, of three or four commas.

Art compares well with Donald Westlake, reigning master of the comic whodunit.

The plot works. The California State System, as experienced by the naive Easterner, ranges from the merely ludicrous to the downright hilarious. The inhabitants of this academic purgatory are perfectly real, from the hopelessly elitist Founding Fathers to the hapless faculty to which their administration is desperately opposed. There's plenty of jealousy, backbiting, intoxication, festering resentment, Byzantine intrigue, illiterate literati and skillful skulking and futile fatuity and tastefully tasteless sex. (Art also avoids the kind of gaudy overwriting embodied in my last sentence.)

Art has mastered the art of sweeping you along through a specialized field--music and musicology--without requiring any arcane knowledge, or even basic familiarity with it. You enjoy the happy illusion that you grasp exactly all the maddening problems of the choral conductor, accompanist, corrector of contrapuntal homework.
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