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THE ELGAR ENIGMAS: A Musical Mystery Paperback – April 9, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-1601457868 ISBN-10: 1601457863

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Thirteen-year-old Alice Lawtham, although autistic and incapable of speech, possesses extraordinary self-taught skills at the piano and performs incredible feats of musical memory. Alice is a musical savant.

Now her enigmatic and intensely private existence is drawing attention from the world at large. Famous conductor Sir David Powys Hughes has stumbled upon some brand new pieces by Alice which bear the hallmark genius of the English composer Edward Elgar. How is this possible?

As a series of eerie 'supernatural' events unfolds in Elgar's home county of Worcestershire, Sir David becomes convinced that the composer himself is responsible -- that the spirit of the long-dead Elgar is channeling through Alice's fingers to create new musical masterpieces.

Not everyone accepts a supernatural explanation. Some suspect a hoax...

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 486 pages
  • Publisher: Booklocker.com, Inc. (April 9, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1601457863
  • ISBN-13: 978-1601457868
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #743,657 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Simon Boswell was born in South London, grew up in Bristol, and completed a Bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering at the University of Birmingham. He then took an Aston University postgraduate diploma in the Teaching of English as a Second or Foreign Language, and has since lived in Finland working as an English teacher. He also studied composition for several years with Einojuhani Rautavaara at the Sibelius Academy, where he now holds the post of English Lecturer. Much of his working life has been focused on developing and teaching music-related English courses for students at the Sibelius Academy. He is married, and has three children.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Jean D. Fielden on August 26, 2009
Format: Paperback
Simon Boswell's second novel, The Elgar Enigmas, is a highly sophisticated romp through the romantic interests and musical masterpieces of Sir Edward Elgar, not exactly a household name in the U.S. but he is the composer of "Pomp and Circumstance," the traditional triumphant march played at every person's graduation ceremony in America. Many surreal happenings occur, ranging from cell phones that "talk" while turned off, to musical masterpieces that seemingly compose themselves in the style of Elgar. Boswell's depictions of parts of Elgar's life and musical accomplishments are based on extensive research and the composer truly comes to life as he leaps off the pages of this book. Even those who don't believe in the supernatural will enjoy the very involved interplay between past and present, real and surreal, music and life. The ending is a masterpiece of connecting the dots and tying up all the loose ends.

J. Fielden, Florida
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dr. W. Shropshire Jr. on October 16, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This delightful and entertaining novel demonstrates Simon Boswell's skills as an author of engrossing stories. The unusual heroine of this musical mystery is an autistic musical savant who authentically plays on the piano any piece she has heard. Her family and friends are challenged in their attempts to discover how she is able even to produce an unknown original composition of the famed British composer, Elgar. Boswell in a series of flashbacks brings to bear his encyclopedic knowledge of Elgar, parapsychology, musical composition and musical criticism. One of the leading characters is a stuffy British symphony conductor who provides the occult and musical themes that both inform and delight. The mystery unfolds at a rapid pace and once again demonstrates Boswell's ability to provide an entertaining and believable suspenseful plot which ends with all the loose ends connected and a completely satisfying denouement. This novel surpasses by far his equally well-done first novel, The Seven Symphonies, and makes us look forward with anticipation to his next novel. I am sure any reader will spread the word to friends and colleagues interested in music about this finely crafted novel. It's superb.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kris Karron on May 9, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Those who could not put down Boswell's first novel, THE SEVEN SYMPHONIES, are in for a equally convoluted unpredictable plot in his second novel, this one without violence and with an even more engrossing mystery. As an American, I know that graduating to "Pomp and Circumstance" means remembering that Elgar composition forever. I was delighted to learn in this novel how intriguing Elgar was--a man ahead of his age, who adored tricks and puzzles, even flirted with the occult. Boswell not only enlightens us in regard to music and musicians and to practitioners of the occult and of music technology. In the pleasant English countryside he lets us meet a young autistic savant. At her piano, without speaking a word, she changes many entangled lives and challenges everyone's pre-conceptions, especially the reader's.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Alex on March 13, 2011
Format: Paperback
I can only hope there are more stories on the way from this wonderful writer, 7 Symphonies was also fantastic!!! I hope he does more set in Finland!! A page turner, a very good read!
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