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The Seven Symphonies: A Finnish Murder Mystery Paperback – Jan 18 2005

3.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 460 pages
  • Publisher: Booklocker.Com Inc (Jan. 18 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591136520
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591136521
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.6 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 544 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #840,238 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Format: Paperback
... of the other reviewers here. I don't often read mysteries, but shortly before taking in this one, I'd read another, the beautiful Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny. By comparison I found Symphonies clunky in style and over-plotted. And then I was fairly sure who did it by page 100 or so, and quite certain shortly after 300. I did enjoy the musicological lectures. The author clearly loves and understands Sibelius.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa19b0ea0) out of 5 stars 14 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa017ed14) out of 5 stars Not just for fellow Sibelians March 8 2006
By M. Holmes - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I recommend this novel highly. It's hard to know what each individual may be searching for in a murder mystery, and there are as many different tastes as there are opinions among readers. Nevertheless, this book is not really about "murder" and "mysteries" per se. It is far more psychological and personal that many other crude attempts that cloud libraries today. It also explores the depths of human experience in the areas relating to sexuality, fears, sexual identity, and long-repressed emotions. There is much in there for any reader to identify with. The characters are very well developed, and there is bound to be at least one moment for everyone to feel that they have "been there" or that they "have been in that particular situation before."

What I like about the book is that it managed to open up certain long forgotten images from my past, some good, and some bad. Once the bad was out of the way (relating to my fear of darkness and bizarre perversions) in the first chapter, then I felt that I could begin exploring the true purposes of the book. There are shocking and disturbing moments in there, but this goes very well with the territory of standard contemporary murder myseries, and it is rather tame compared to other novels that shock for the sake of shocking.

I pride myself on being an expert on the music of Sibelius. I am a musicologist and also an orchestral conductor who has been involved in numerous performance of this music. My initial fear when seeing the book for the first time last year was that my image of the composer might be ruined or "tarnished." I even told the author this after I contacted him through his book website ([...] However, it was impossible for me to put the book down because I felt that 1) He had me completely riveted narrative-wise, 2) I was intrigued about these strange bedfellows: Sibelius and homicide. It wasn't a direct relation to the composer; the music and life of Sibelius was only used as a vehicle for the story, and 3) The author's use of language was very creative and compellingly real; I felt like everything was really happening.

Simon Boswell has obviously put a great deal of thought and planning into this story. It may very well be his apotheosis. As he told me, he has been living in Helsinki for most of his professional life, and the music of Sibelius is one of the things that drew him there. This was exactly the same experience for me (as I know the city of Helsinki quite well), and as a Sibelius scholar, I consider his treatment of the material to be knowledgeable as well as respectful toward Finland's greatest composer. From my perspective, I thought "Why not explore another side of Sibelius?" Since I know every note of his music by this point, I always find it interesting re-explore it through the eyes of others.

I give this an enthusiastic five stars!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9dfc78d0) out of 5 stars Astonishing accomplishment March 12 2005
By CB Norris - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Few past the age of 50 can suddenly produce a successful novel. Simon Boswell's talent must have lain dormant like wine, slowly ripening, because this novel's plot could have been laid out only by someone trained as an engineer, as Boswell was. The murder mystery stream and the music of Sibelius (drawn from his composer-teacher talents) continually and maddeningly converge. Expect to have each of your preconceptions proven false, and to sit up all night reading. Then re-read it to relish this astonishing fictional accomplishment.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e1cdf9c) out of 5 stars Hits some high notes July 11 2006
By Dr. Cathy Goodwin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
A surprisingly good effort from a new author and a small press. Boswell can write. He creates fascinating characters and maintains suspense. For American audiences, Seven Symphonies would do better in a shorter version. The author invites readers to omit certain sections, which is fine -- but not conducive to the quick reading we expect in a suspense novel. Definitely worth a look, especially for lovers of classical music.
HASH(0x9dc8eeb8) out of 5 stars Great mystery Dec 11 2013
By Beth - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What an intriguing well written mystery. It's a spellbinder to the end. Good luck on figuring out who the murderer is. The head detective is a woman and a human being and well portrayed by the author who is a man. Each character is a defined personality. The music theme running through it is very interesting and a part of the murder plot but not exactly the way you would think. It's interesting that the author lets you not read the lectures if you don't care to and really don't have to...but...!? I'm looking forward to his next book.
HASH(0x9e400948) out of 5 stars Not a bad who-done-it March 9 2013
By Tero - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A bit too much rehashing of the story at the end. Also some long monologues that repeat the same material. In his first real mystery, the author should have stuck to a single narrator, the detective for example.

For the experienced mystery reader he left an unnecessary early clue a little over half way through.

The Sibelius lectures came on top of this. I was interested enough in them so I simply bookmarked them and read them afterwards.

All in all, a good effort.

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