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A priceless violin. And a dark secret someone is prepared to kill for. DCI Oldroyd has seen his fair share of victims, but he has never witnessed a murder—until now. When world-famous violinist Hans Muller is shot and killed during a concert, the detective is faced with a case beyond logic. The culprit is nowhere to be found—and the victim’s priceless violin has disappe A priceless violin. And a dark secret someone is prepared to kill for. DCI Oldroyd has seen his fair share of victims, but he has never witnessed a murder—until now. When world-famous violinist Hans Muller is shot and killed during a concert, the detective is faced with a case beyond logic. The culprit is nowhere to be found—and the victim’s priceless violin has disappeared too.As Oldroyd investigates the mystery of the murderer’s identity and the motive for the killing, he enters the ruthless world of wealthy instrument collectors and stumbles upon a dark path where shocking secrets have been buried in the past. But the secrets will soon take centre stage.Oldroyd must use all his cunning to recover the priceless instrument. But can he also solve the mystery of a murderer who vanished in front of his own eyes? Revised edition: This edition of The Quartet Murders includes editorial revisions.


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A priceless violin. And a dark secret someone is prepared to kill for. DCI Oldroyd has seen his fair share of victims, but he has never witnessed a murder—until now. When world-famous violinist Hans Muller is shot and killed during a concert, the detective is faced with a case beyond logic. The culprit is nowhere to be found—and the victim’s priceless violin has disappe A priceless violin. And a dark secret someone is prepared to kill for. DCI Oldroyd has seen his fair share of victims, but he has never witnessed a murder—until now. When world-famous violinist Hans Muller is shot and killed during a concert, the detective is faced with a case beyond logic. The culprit is nowhere to be found—and the victim’s priceless violin has disappeared too.As Oldroyd investigates the mystery of the murderer’s identity and the motive for the killing, he enters the ruthless world of wealthy instrument collectors and stumbles upon a dark path where shocking secrets have been buried in the past. But the secrets will soon take centre stage.Oldroyd must use all his cunning to recover the priceless instrument. But can he also solve the mystery of a murderer who vanished in front of his own eyes? Revised edition: This edition of The Quartet Murders includes editorial revisions.

30 review for The Quartet Murders

  1. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    This is another series I’ve gotten caught reading out of order. So, after reading the latest, I’m going back to read 2-4. This, the second, deals with the death of a violinist and the theft of his priceless Stradivarius violin. This is an old style police procedural, with an old fashioned DCI, which reminded me of Agatha Christie’s mysteries. The murderer and the violin both disappear under what should have been an impossible situation. Ellis teases the reader, letting us know that everyone is k This is another series I’ve gotten caught reading out of order. So, after reading the latest, I’m going back to read 2-4. This, the second, deals with the death of a violinist and the theft of his priceless Stradivarius violin. This is an old style police procedural, with an old fashioned DCI, which reminded me of Agatha Christie’s mysteries. The murderer and the violin both disappear under what should have been an impossible situation. Ellis teases the reader, letting us know that everyone is keeping secrets from the police, but not telling us what they are. You’d also come away from this book thinking all collectors are dishonest. I enjoy Oldroyd, the DCI. He is keen on the powers of observation and is trying to teach Carter, his young DS. Ellis makes a point of including lots of history. Not just the epigraphs concerning each of the remaining Stradivarius violins, but also about the mill towns in the Yorkshire area. This kept my interest but I didn’t care for it as much as the first book. It’s a steadily paced book, without any true crescendos. My assumption of the murderer was correct, but I had no clue as to the how or why. Several of the narrator’s voices didn’t work for me. He also had a rather flat delivery. I want to continue this series, but may switch back to reading.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Li'l Owl

    A priceless Munsterhaven Stativarius violin. Collectors will do anything necessary to possess it. Including murder. DCI Jim Oldroid is a connoisseur of classical music, frequently attending chamber concerts at every opportunity. Tonight, not even a wet, and cold November evening can dampen his spirits as he's in Halifax for a chamber concert in the Red Chapel Arts Centre. The internationally renowned Schubert String Quartet will be performing Schubert's, greatest quartet: the one in D major kno A priceless Munsterhaven Stativarius violin. Collectors will do anything necessary to possess it. Including murder. DCI Jim Oldroid is a connoisseur of classical music, frequently attending chamber concerts at every opportunity. Tonight, not even a wet, and cold November evening can dampen his spirits as he's in Halifax for a chamber concert in the Red Chapel Arts Centre. The internationally renowned Schubert String Quartet will be performing Schubert's, greatest quartet: the one in D major known as Death and the Maiden, with its famous second movement, one of Oldroyd’s favourite pieces of music. The hall was hushed in expectation of a special performance of Schubert’s masterpiece. There followed an intense and dramatic first movement handled with masterful technique and power. And then the slow movement. Oldroyd had always thought that the opening was like a funeral march; Death is stalking the maiden as in the old legend and Schubert’s earlier song. She pleads with him in a poignant and plaintive series of variations –‘Ich bin noch jung!’– but he is implacable. The music increases in menace and drama. Death draws near, enveloping her in a dance and then striking her down. A turbulent passage of agony climaxes in death throes but then subsides slowly into quietness and calm. The final bars convey transcendence; the opening themes are repeated but transformed, uplifted. Oldroyd sat transfixed until the final chord faded out. There was utter silence. The quartet slowly lowered their instruments, and Muller gently placed the Munsterhaven Strad on to the little table. As he did so there was a tiny thudding noise high up behind Oldroyd. A small circle of red appeared on the right side of Muller’s forehead and his eyes widened. He appeared to try to stand up, still holding his bow, then plunged forward, knocked over his music stand and crashed to the floor, where he lay still. The sheets of his score were scattered around him. There were a few strangely still seconds of complete incomprehension in the hall, before it was realised that Death had claimed more than the Maiden that night in Halifax. ******** The Quartet Murders by J.R. Ellis is the second book in the Yorkshire Murder Mystery series. We were first introduced to DCI Jim Oldroid and his partner, DS Andy Carter, in the enjoyable and intriguing debut The Body in the Dales. *The Quartet Murders begins with a introduction into the factual history of the legendary Munsterhaven Stratavaruis instruments made in 1709, provided for us by the author, J. R. Ellis. I've included it in it's entirety as it speaks to the uniqueness and beauty of the storyline. For anyone interested, you can find it at the end of this review. The books in this series are located in and around the small village of Harrington in the Yorkshire Dales. Mr. Ellis takes full advantage of the setting by adding factual information surrounding the history and diverse landscapes that make up the Yorkshire Dales, working it seamlessly into the storyline. The factual elements and creativity give his stories a unique, fresh, and dynamic quality, and the overall effect creates more of a mysterious, cryptic, puzzling, and sinister nature as a backdrop as the story plays out. The characters are genuine and it's easy to grow fond of them in a short time. I'm really enjoying this series and am looking forward to reading the next book in the near future! * Legend It is said that Count Munsterhaven’s messenger arrived at his famous destination in Cremona –No. 2 Piazza San Domenico –dusty and exhausted on a hot August afternoon in 1709. He was immediately admitted and given a refreshing glass of wine. Having recovered a little, he was escorted up some rather rickety stairs to the workshop, seeing the apprentices at work and smelling the wood and the varnish. He passed violins and violas lined up in various stages of completion, like butterflies slowly forming in the chrysalis, before entering a tiny office where a man was sitting on a high stool at a desk looking at detailed drawings and diagrams. This was the genius himself: Antonio Stradivari, the most famous musical instrument maker the world has ever known. The messenger bowed reverentially and handed a sealed envelope, borne hundreds of miles from Germany, to the master, who opened it and read the enclosed letter. Even though he knew of the count’s wealth, his eccentric pride and his love of music, what the master read still surprised him. It was a grand commission, not for one or two or even three instruments, as he had been expecting since the count’s recent visit, but for all the violins, violas and cellos of a chamber orchestra: nine instruments in all! Every string player would play a Stradivarius. The count was prepared to pay a fabulous price. Towards the end of the letter there was a neat, coloured drawing of the count’s coat of arms followed by a curious request expressed in an oddly formal style: So that these instruments will be forever associated with me, you will receive my everlasting gratitude if, on the back of each one, you will cause to have painted my coat of arms as it here appears. Thus they will become the ‘Munsterhaven’Stradivarii and, I believe, a wonder of the world for evermore. Stradivari gazed abstractedly into the distance for a moment, before taking up the letter again and studying the coat of arms. Well, my friend, he thought to himself. What a request you have given to me! He smiled and nodded. Yes, you shall have your ‘Munsterhaven’Stradivarii –and I hope they will be, as you say, a wonder of the world. With thanks to NetGalley, Thomas and Mercer, and J. R. Ellis for giving me all three books in the Yorkshire Murder Mystery series for me to read in return for my honest review.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn

    I enjoyed the first episode in this series of murder mysteries in Yorkshire but found this one somewhat slow. It started off dramatically with the murder of a violinist in a famous quartet midway through a concert in the Halifax Arts Centre. He was shot by a gun man in the rafters of the hall and during the confusion his Stradivarius violin disappeared. Classical music lover, DCI Oldroyd of the West Riding police was in the audience and quickly contained the situation, and determined that no one I enjoyed the first episode in this series of murder mysteries in Yorkshire but found this one somewhat slow. It started off dramatically with the murder of a violinist in a famous quartet midway through a concert in the Halifax Arts Centre. He was shot by a gun man in the rafters of the hall and during the confusion his Stradivarius violin disappeared. Classical music lover, DCI Oldroyd of the West Riding police was in the audience and quickly contained the situation, and determined that no one had left the venue before the local police arrived. Unfortunately the killer and the violin have both disappeared and the police seem to go in circles interviewing all this involved in collecting or selling musical instruments to no avail for most of the book. There are interesting snippets dropped in about the history of various famous Stradivarius violins but it wasn't enough to maintain my interest. I do like the young DS from the Met, Andy Carter who is newly transferred to West Riding but we didn't see much of him in this episode. I did guess who might have been involved in the murder but not why or how it was done so the ending was unexpected.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    I wanted to give this Yorkshire series another chance, but can't say I enjoyed reading this second book. For me, books 1 and 2 had potential with interesting topics but the pace is very slow and I have a stack of exciting books to get to. This time round we get to explore stringed instruments - the playing of them, the enjoyment of classical music and the value of rare violins. Also thrown into the mix is what they refer to in this book as "Nazi gold" and persons actively involved in finding and I wanted to give this Yorkshire series another chance, but can't say I enjoyed reading this second book. For me, books 1 and 2 had potential with interesting topics but the pace is very slow and I have a stack of exciting books to get to. This time round we get to explore stringed instruments - the playing of them, the enjoyment of classical music and the value of rare violins. Also thrown into the mix is what they refer to in this book as "Nazi gold" and persons actively involved in finding and restoring stolen items from Jewish families. The Chief Inspector attends a concert where one of the players is shot to death and his Stradivarius instantly disappears from the stage under the nose of the Chief Inspector. The potential suspects are many. The interviews are exhaustive. The list of wealthy collectors is lengthy. The pattern seems to include at the very end when all is done, arrests made and everyone's dirty laundry is aired that the Chief Inspector has his final "a-hah!" moment that puts the final piece of the puzzle in place. A quote that describes how I felt reading it: "Oldroyd sighed wearily. They’d been through all this before. They were just circling around the same facts and getting nowhere." Kindle Unlimited

  5. 5 out of 5

    The Cats’ Mother

    This is the second in the DCI Oldroyd/Yorkshire Murder Mystery series, although could easily be read as a stand-alone. This was recently re-published but has kept the same title, unlike the other two in the series. They are mysteries set in modern times, but with a wholesome old-fashioned style which makes a nice change from the nastiness of some crime series. (I read and enjoy those too, but need a break from time to time.) It’s early December and Jim Oldroyd is attending a string quartet perfor This is the second in the DCI Oldroyd/Yorkshire Murder Mystery series, although could easily be read as a stand-alone. This was recently re-published but has kept the same title, unlike the other two in the series. They are mysteries set in modern times, but with a wholesome old-fashioned style which makes a nice change from the nastiness of some crime series. (I read and enjoy those too, but need a break from time to time.) It’s early December and Jim Oldroyd is attending a string quartet performance in a converted chapel in Halifax, when the senior violinist is shot dead, and his priceless Stradivarius instrument stolen in the confusion that follows. Leaping into action, Oldroyd secures the scene, and finds the abandoned rifle, but the killer is nowhere to be found and no one saw him leave. Asked to join the investigation by his old mate DCI Sam Alderdice, they find a large pool of suspects who may have been desperate enough to get hold of the rare violin, worth millions, but none who could’ve fired the fatal shot. A second murder leads them to London, allowing DS Andy Carter a chance to re-visit his old patch, and discover links to violent gangs, wealthy collectors, and Nazi Gold. The author has a wonderfully atmospheric way of describing the Yorkshire scenes, both town and country, and introduces lots of intriguing characters, some returning from the first book, like Oldroyd’s sister, Alison the vicar. The plot was detailed enough to be interesting without becoming overly complicated, and I certainly didn’t guess the perpetrator but was entirely satisfied by the reveal - there were clues enough to not feel cheated. The third book has also just been published and I look forward to reading it very soon. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Elaine Tomasso

    I would like to thank Netgalley and Thomas & Mercer for an advance copy of The Quartet Murders, the second novel to feature DCI Oldroyd and DS Carter of Harrogate police. DCI Oldroyd is in Halifax listening to a string quartet concert when the lead violinist, Hans Müller, is shot dead. He is perplexed when no trace of the sniper can be found and further perplexed when Müller's extremely rare Stradivarius cannot be found. I enjoyed The Quartet Murders but found it less of a good read than its prede I would like to thank Netgalley and Thomas & Mercer for an advance copy of The Quartet Murders, the second novel to feature DCI Oldroyd and DS Carter of Harrogate police. DCI Oldroyd is in Halifax listening to a string quartet concert when the lead violinist, Hans Müller, is shot dead. He is perplexed when no trace of the sniper can be found and further perplexed when Müller's extremely rare Stradivarius cannot be found. I enjoyed The Quartet Murders but found it less of a good read than its predecessor, The Body in the Dales. Much of this is, I think, due to me guessing early on how it was done and getting frustrated with Oldroyd for not seeing it. I also found it frustrating that the author completely ignores modern forensics in favour of the more old fashioned method of chasing leads and theories, e.g. there is no mention of checking for fingerprints on the gun or checking the serial number but they spend a lot of time chasing potential buyers of the violin. I also fail to get excited about antiques and the urge to collect rarities. Having said all that the novel is well plotted with several good, unexpected twists, a host of suspects and a well hidden motive and the chapter headings, each with a different story about a Stradivarius and totally unconnected to the plot, are informative about this niche market. Oldroyd is not at his best in this novel. He is depressed about his failure to win back his wife and tired with the commute between Harrogate and Halifax so he spends most his time up blind alleys and chasing his tail until a chance remark from the philistine, DS Carter, puts him on the right track. The Quartet Murders is a good read.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Joyce

    4 stars Detective Chief Inspector Jim Oldroyd is attending a concert of the Schubert Quartet that will be playing one of his favorite pieces by Schubert. At the end of the concert a shot rings out and Hans Muller is shot dead. With Hans was a priceless Munsterhaven Stradivarius. Bedlam occurs and when all is calm it is discovered that not only is Hans dead, but the Strad is missing. Oldroyd teams up with DCI Sam Armitage and Andy Cater to work the case and the interviews begin. The interviews have 4 stars Detective Chief Inspector Jim Oldroyd is attending a concert of the Schubert Quartet that will be playing one of his favorite pieces by Schubert. At the end of the concert a shot rings out and Hans Muller is shot dead. With Hans was a priceless Munsterhaven Stradivarius. Bedlam occurs and when all is calm it is discovered that not only is Hans dead, but the Strad is missing. Oldroyd teams up with DCI Sam Armitage and Andy Cater to work the case and the interviews begin. The interviews have barely begun, with Hans’ death just three days old, when Martin Hamilton, the cellist in the Quartet, was shot to death in his home in London. His home was ransacked and his cello is out of its case. Upon close examination, Oldroyd discovers a secret compartment in the cello case, and it’s just big enough to fit a violin in it. They are convinced that he stole the Strad and now it’s been stolen from him – after his murder. Something is going on and Armitage, Oldroyd and Andy all think it has something to do with the missing Strad. This novel reads like an episode of Midsomer Murders in that the reader also gets to learn about the suspects and what is going on with them. We learn their motives and actions – it’s great. We learn almost all of what is going on, but the reader doesn’t know the details. Nefarious doings are underway. In a sting, the truth of the stolen Strad is revealed. It was a tip about a conspiracy that the police received in the nick of time. The death of Martin Hamilton was solved as well. The story of the stolen Strads gets stranger yet. But the police seem no closer to learning about the first murder. Who committed it? How did they do it? An idle comment by Andy puts a thought into Oldroyd’s head. And he turns out to be right. The case of the murder of Hans Muller is solved. The story behind the murder is torturous and filled with pain. This is a fine book. It is well written and plotted. I like DCI Oldroyd and DS Andy very much. They are a great team. Although Steph played a minor role in this novel, she too, is a valuable member of Oldroyd’s team. I thought that this novel was not quite as good as The Body in the Dales. However, it was still a very good read and I will continue to read J.R. Ellis’ books in the future. I want to thank NetGalley and Amazon Publishing UK/Thomas & Mercer for forwarding to me a copy of this great book to read, enjoy and review.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kate Ellis

    Having recently read J.R. Ellis' first book I was pleased to be able to read his second which.was a very satisying and enjoyable read. The plot was steadily paced and I loved the additional information about Stradivari and his instruments, Not only a good crime novel, a book that educates, and a writer who's work I will be sure to read more of. Having recently read J.R. Ellis' first book I was pleased to be able to read his second which.was a very satisying and enjoyable read. The plot was steadily paced and I loved the additional information about Stradivari and his instruments, Not only a good crime novel, a book that educates, and a writer who's work I will be sure to read more of.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Selah

    Overall, I enjoyed this one a bit more than the first book, but I found the solution a bit too cliched.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Joyce

    4 stars Detective Chief Inspector Jim Oldroyd is attending a concert of the Schubert Quartet that will be playing one of his favorite pieces by Schubert. At the end of the concert a shot rings out and Hans Muller is shot dead. With Hans was a priceless Munsterhaven Stradivarius. Bedlam occurs and when all is calm it is discovered that not only is Hans dead, but the Strad is missing. Oldroyd teams up with DCI Sam Armitage and Andy Cater to work the case and the interviews begin. The interviews have 4 stars Detective Chief Inspector Jim Oldroyd is attending a concert of the Schubert Quartet that will be playing one of his favorite pieces by Schubert. At the end of the concert a shot rings out and Hans Muller is shot dead. With Hans was a priceless Munsterhaven Stradivarius. Bedlam occurs and when all is calm it is discovered that not only is Hans dead, but the Strad is missing. Oldroyd teams up with DCI Sam Armitage and Andy Cater to work the case and the interviews begin. The interviews have barely begun, with Hans’ death just three days old, when Martin Hamilton, the cellist in the Quartet, was shot to death in his home in London. His home was ransacked and his cello is out of its case. Upon close examination, Oldroyd discovers a secret compartment in the cello case, and it’s just big enough to fit a violin in it. They are convinced that he stole the Strad and now it’s been stolen from him – after his murder. Something is going on and Armitage, Oldroyd and Andy all think it has something to do with the missing Strad. This novel reads like an episode of Midsomer Murders in that the reader also gets to learn about the suspects and what is going on with them. We learn their motives and actions – it’s great. We learn almost all of what is going on, but the reader doesn’t know the details. Nefarious doings are underway. In a sting, the truth of the stolen Strad is revealed. It was a tip about a conspiracy that the police received in the nick of time. The death of Martin Hamilton was solved as well. The story of the stolen Strads gets stranger yet. But the police seem no closer to learning about the first murder. Who committed it? How did they do it? An idle comment by Andy puts a thought into Oldroyd’s head. And he turns out to be right. The case of the murder of Hans Muller is solved. The story behind the murder is torturous and filled with pain. This is a fine book. It is well written and plotted. I like DCI Oldroyd and DS Andy very much. They are a great team. Although Steph played a minor role in this novel, she too, is a valuable member of Oldroyd’s team. I thought that this novel was not quite as good as The Body in the Dales. However, it was still a very good read and I will continue to read J.R. Ellis’ books in the future. I want to thank NetGalley and Amazon Publishing UK/Thomas & Mercer for forwarding to me a copy of this great book to read, enjoy and review.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jane Cairns

    The Quartet Murders: A Yorkshire Murder Mystery By: J. R .Ellis Detective Chief Inspector Jim Oldroyd is thoroughly enjoying a concert of chamber music in a chapel in a small Yorkshire town when one on the quartet members is shot while performing onstage by an unseen assailant and the musician’s irreplaceable Stradivarius violin goes missing. No one is seen leaving the building, yet the murderer and thief aren’t found. Is this the work of a gang of art thieves with whom some of the locals are invo The Quartet Murders: A Yorkshire Murder Mystery By: J. R .Ellis Detective Chief Inspector Jim Oldroyd is thoroughly enjoying a concert of chamber music in a chapel in a small Yorkshire town when one on the quartet members is shot while performing onstage by an unseen assailant and the musician’s irreplaceable Stradivarius violin goes missing. No one is seen leaving the building, yet the murderer and thief aren’t found. Is this the work of a gang of art thieves with whom some of the locals are involved? A few of the local well-heeled gentry are known for their private collections of rare and priceless musical instruments. Before long another member of the quartet is killed, and his murder linked to the stolen violin. DCI Oldroyd assists his old friend, DCI Sam Armitage of the local Halifax police force, in unraveling the knotted strings of these mysteries. The police assume the two deaths and the theft of the violin committed by the same group of criminals. But are they connector or are they separate cases? The main characters, Armitage, Oldroyd and Oldroyd’s associate, Detective Sergeant Andy Carter, are well-defined. Armitage “was a jovial character famously renown for his unhealthy lifestyle. A heavy smoker, he was fond of lunching on pork pies laced with brown sauce and his consumption of beer outstripped Oldroyd’s.” Oldroyd is a dedicated policeman as well as a classical music lover who’s longing to reunite with his ex-wife. DS Carter, who gets on well with Oldroy, his superior, is falling in love with Yorkshire as well as one of his co-workers, DS Stephanie Johnson. The setting is well conceived. The town, down on its heels after the closure of its textile mills, is still lively with weekly market days and Christmas decorations. The red-brick chapel where the concerts are held is an eccentric venue for classical music concerts, according to Oldroyd. Although the characters are likable, sometimes their personal lives get in the way of the story. Oldroyd’s contact with his sister furthers the plot as they discuss the deaths and theft, but his interaction with his ex-wife and daughter does nothing except slow the plot and drop readers out of the mystery. His daughter is usually off doing her own thing, except for cadging money from Dad. His wife is a downward drag on the story because of her somewhat defeatist attitude. The plot moves along at a slow but steady pace; one wonders why a few more modern techniques of police investigation were not used, such as checking fingerprints at the two crime scenes. Sometimes, it seemed as if Oldroyd and Armitage were just scratching their heads and ignoring subtle clues from Alison, Oldroyd’s sister, and Miss Dobson. “Have you got anything, Jim? We’re banging our heads against a brick wall with this one,” Armitage says at one point. The Quartet Murders is the second book in a series about DCI Oldroyd. Based on the plot of this book, I might or might not read the others. The main characters were likable and believable enough to create some interest in the other books in the series. This plot, however, could have use more punch. Overall, a rating of 3.5-4 stars for The Quartet Murders.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    I thoroughly enjoyed this second instalment in J.R. Ellis's DCI Jim Oldroyd series. Like its predecessor, The Body in the Dales, this was a police procedural in the traditional mould, relying on a strong narrative and setting, rather than gritty realism or gruesome forensic details. Christmas is approaching and DCI Oldroyd is looking forward to a night off, in pursuit of culture instead of Yorkshire's criminals. He drives across the moors from Harrogate to Halifax, to hear the renowned Schubert Q I thoroughly enjoyed this second instalment in J.R. Ellis's DCI Jim Oldroyd series. Like its predecessor, The Body in the Dales, this was a police procedural in the traditional mould, relying on a strong narrative and setting, rather than gritty realism or gruesome forensic details. Christmas is approaching and DCI Oldroyd is looking forward to a night off, in pursuit of culture instead of Yorkshire's criminals. He drives across the moors from Harrogate to Halifax, to hear the renowned Schubert Quartet at perform Schubert's String Quartet No. 14 in D minor, known as "Death and the Maiden", at the Red Chapel concert hall. His enjoyment of the beautiful music quickly evaporates as the first violinist is shot dead on stage by a sniper during a break in the music, and his priceless Stradivarius instrument stolen in the ensuing melée. Oldroyd joins his colleague, Halifax local DCI Armitage, and DS Andy Carter arrives from Harrogate to investigate both crimes, presumably linked. The action takes them from Yorkshire to London, where the quartet's connections at the Bloomsbury School of Music come under scrutiny. They've barely scratched the surface when the quartet's cellist is also found shot dead at his home, with evidence that it was he who had purloined the valuable instrument in Halifax. Of course, the violin has now disappeared into thin air a second time, leading Oldroyd and Carter into the shadowy world of the elite instrument collectors' trade. Are the murders simply a by-product of some greedy collector's avarice, or is there a more personal motive behind the crimes? The Quartet Murders isn't a thriller by any stretch, but I felt Ellis's writing and characters have matured somewhat since the first instalment, and found this an intriguing and enjoyable read. Each chapter is prefaced with the (known) history of a real Stradivari instrument, and it is fascinating that so many have quite chequered provenance. I enjoyed spending time with DCI Oldroyd again - he strikes me as a sort of northern variant of P.D. James's famous sympathetic sleuth, Adam Dalgliesh. These are nice gentle mystery stories, perfect for a cosy afternoon in front of the fire.

  13. 5 out of 5

    John Lee

    I moved straight to The Quartet Murders from The Body in the Dales which I enjoyed very much. Was that a mistake , I wonder? I enjoy a bit of classical music now and again or when I want to concentrate but not to the depth or with the knowledge of D I Oldroyd (or Morse). The description of the program of The String Quartet was something quite new to me. I have seen a great or particular meal disected in a similar way but never music. Interesting. There was still much to like about this story. The I moved straight to The Quartet Murders from The Body in the Dales which I enjoyed very much. Was that a mistake , I wonder? I enjoy a bit of classical music now and again or when I want to concentrate but not to the depth or with the knowledge of D I Oldroyd (or Morse). The description of the program of The String Quartet was something quite new to me. I have seen a great or particular meal disected in a similar way but never music. Interesting. There was still much to like about this story. The familiar feel of the Yorkshire area where I lived and worked for about 20 years was still there in the writing for certain as was the old Yorkshire proud character of Oldroyd. Was it my imagination or had some of the warmth and humour drained out of his character. I hope not. The problem for me here was that the story seemed to get unnecessarily complicated. There were even two DIs in charge of the investigation. I know that the author likes to add an additional puzzle element to his stories and he achieves this in the first book without overcomplicating it. Here, as Oldroyd himself says at one stage,there are too many people involved . Each of these has to have a back story to justify inclusion and a link with the crime. As an armchair detective, I thought that the guilty party was obvious from something quite early on and was a little surprised that Oldroyd let it be explained away so easily. The explanation at the end was very complete but I dont think that anyone could have guessed the reasons behind the crime or the answer to the puzzle of 'how?' from what had gone before. However, the clue with the Christmas Carol should have nailed the guilty party. I am still a fan of the author and will continue with the series -although, perhaps this time, after something else first.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Michael Smith

    This is the second in an enjoyable new police procedural mystery series set in Yorkshire, featuring DCI Jim Oldroyd, an old-style Yorkshireman through and through (even with his Oxford degree) and his young Detective Sergeant recently transferred up from London, but who is coming to prefer the Dales to the Smoke. Oldroyd is a chamber music enthusiast and he’s visiting another town, enjoying a concert in a repurposed old church by a renowned quartet, the lead violinist of which plays a Stradivari This is the second in an enjoyable new police procedural mystery series set in Yorkshire, featuring DCI Jim Oldroyd, an old-style Yorkshireman through and through (even with his Oxford degree) and his young Detective Sergeant recently transferred up from London, but who is coming to prefer the Dales to the Smoke. Oldroyd is a chamber music enthusiast and he’s visiting another town, enjoying a concert in a repurposed old church by a renowned quartet, the lead violinist of which plays a Stradivarius that’s special even among Strads. And just as the music ends, there’s a shot from a catwalk and the violinist fall over on the stage, dead. With a murder having just taken place in front of his eyes, Oldroyd leaps onto the stage to take control of the situation and lock down the building, but he doesn’t discover until later that in all the panic and hub-bub, the Strad has also been stolen. Embarrassing, right? He’s off his own patch, but Oldroyd joins up with the local DCI (an old friend of his) and brings in his sergeant to try to solve the case. And it goes nowhere, for all sorts of reason. The other three members of the quartet have secrets, and so did the dead musician, and so does the music school with which a couple of them are affiliated. The shooter seems to have vanished into thin air from a building with only a single entrance. And the missing Strad hasn’t surfaced, either. All in all, it’s a pretty good story and Ellis is skilled at building interesting characters. My only complaint is that this time the solution (the nature of which I can’t even hint at, obviously) seem to come out of left field in the last few chapters. That takes a couple of stars off the rating for me.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kelly-Jo Sweeney

    This is the second of J.R.Ellis Yorkshire Murder Mysteries that I've read. Some time seems to have passed since the first instalment although I'm not sure how much. I gather it is a little bit of time though, as his sergeants seem to have moved from a date to a full-on relationship. DCI Oldroyd and DS Carter are faced with joining another local force to try and solve a seemingly impossible murder. The story covers everything from murder to international smuggling and high-value theft. I loved th This is the second of J.R.Ellis Yorkshire Murder Mysteries that I've read. Some time seems to have passed since the first instalment although I'm not sure how much. I gather it is a little bit of time though, as his sergeants seem to have moved from a date to a full-on relationship. DCI Oldroyd and DS Carter are faced with joining another local force to try and solve a seemingly impossible murder. The story covers everything from murder to international smuggling and high-value theft. I loved the story and the twists and turns that it took. I managed to work out some of the solutions, but there was so much going on that I didn't solve the whole crime. On the whole, I really enjoyed this book. It was well written and I enjoyed the mystery. The only slight problem was that the main solution was, I felt a little cliched. This might be unfair, but of all the solutions to murders that I've read, I've come across this one a couple of times and it's my least favourite. Despite this though, I still really enjoyed the book as a whole and am looking forward to reading more in this series. I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Tamara

    This is the second in the Yorkshire series. It's unclear how much time has passed since the first book - presumably a fair bit of time since the new DS seems to have settled into Yorkshire enough to consider it home and he's involved with the series DC - a relationship which had barely begun in the first book. Set around Christmas time the plot involves string music, stringed instruments, musicians and an impossible crime. The impossible crime is witnessed by dozens of music lovers including DCI This is the second in the Yorkshire series. It's unclear how much time has passed since the first book - presumably a fair bit of time since the new DS seems to have settled into Yorkshire enough to consider it home and he's involved with the series DC - a relationship which had barely begun in the first book. Set around Christmas time the plot involves string music, stringed instruments, musicians and an impossible crime. The impossible crime is witnessed by dozens of music lovers including DCI Oldroyd. Strictly speaking this crime ocurred in another division but Oldroyd is an active participant in the investigation and it's he who solves the puzzle. The solution is a little contrived and somewhat predictable but that doesn't detract from the story. Nicely drawn locations; good atmosphere. A solid entry in this series

  17. 5 out of 5

    AndrewP

    A member of a prominent quartet is assassinated on stage and his Stradivarius violin disappears. So begins this Yorkshire police procedural. Somehow I found a bit of a disconnection between the homely low level Yorkshire Policing and the high crime of assassination and the theft of a multi million pound violin. Having said that it was an enjoyable investigation once I got past my sense of disbelief. The case becomes quite complex and, as you might expect, not all was as simple as it at first appe A member of a prominent quartet is assassinated on stage and his Stradivarius violin disappears. So begins this Yorkshire police procedural. Somehow I found a bit of a disconnection between the homely low level Yorkshire Policing and the high crime of assassination and the theft of a multi million pound violin. Having said that it was an enjoyable investigation once I got past my sense of disbelief. The case becomes quite complex and, as you might expect, not all was as simple as it at first appeared. I will be continuing on with the series but hope there is more 'interviewing suspects down at the pub' level of investigations with local colour.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Angie Boyter

    This continues the same fine series I met with the first book. Good, believable characters with genuine human problems but not so unrelievedly dysfunctional I get turned off. A mystery where there are clues laid along the way that I mostly missed (but that was my fault.). An interesting topic to learn about, Stradivarius violins in this book, the caves in the first book. Now I wonder what will be the fun topic in book 3....

  19. 5 out of 5

    Myreadbooks

    I would like to thank Netgalley and Thomas & Mercer for this partnership. History tells us that the Stradivarius violin is priceless and that people would kill to have it in their hands. It all began when the famous violinist Hans Muller was shot dead in the middle of a concert and his violin disappeared, of course, the police could not find the killer. Oldroyd will investigate the world of musical instruments and discover many dark secrets. He will do everything to find the violin and the murder I would like to thank Netgalley and Thomas & Mercer for this partnership. History tells us that the Stradivarius violin is priceless and that people would kill to have it in their hands. It all began when the famous violinist Hans Muller was shot dead in the middle of a concert and his violin disappeared, of course, the police could not find the killer. Oldroyd will investigate the world of musical instruments and discover many dark secrets. He will do everything to find the violin and the murderer. A second book read before the first, I had not paid attention in my netgalley library. A very interesting story, being a fan of classical music, captivating filled with suspense and twists. I begin the first book of this step.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jillian

    I enjoyed this second in the series as much as the first - perhaps even more, as the young-blade-on-the-loose was absent. It seems this is going to be a series of seemingly impossible puzzles, a variation on the locked room sub-genre. As I quite like these, I’m enjoying the read. In this one, the personal elements are present but not dominant (tick from me), progress is slow (ok with me) and much of the interest is in the history of Stradivarius violins, Nazi Germany and a dash of the Yorkshire I enjoyed this second in the series as much as the first - perhaps even more, as the young-blade-on-the-loose was absent. It seems this is going to be a series of seemingly impossible puzzles, a variation on the locked room sub-genre. As I quite like these, I’m enjoying the read. In this one, the personal elements are present but not dominant (tick from me), progress is slow (ok with me) and much of the interest is in the history of Stradivarius violins, Nazi Germany and a dash of the Yorkshire Dales. I love this combination of a history niche, a geographic area, a crime and a detection narrative. Next please!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Christine Turner

    Good read Very good book, plenty twists and turns, kept you guessing, then all is explained. Will definitely be reading the next book in the series.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Charles Cornew

    Great read. Entertaining and educational. Thoroughly enjoyed this, as much as the first. Up there with the Morse novels but with likeable and human characters. Fascinating story lines and well researched too.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Joan

    I'm very happy to have discovered Ellis. I liked the first one enough to read this second one, and I'm delighted to say that I enjoyed the second more than the first. I'd love to hear from any Goodreads friends who have read Ellis. I'm very happy to have discovered Ellis. I liked the first one enough to read this second one, and I'm delighted to say that I enjoyed the second more than the first. I'd love to hear from any Goodreads friends who have read Ellis.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    Excellent! I am enjoying this series immensely. Love the setting and main characters. Nothing like a cozy set in the Yorkshire Dales!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Pat

    The Yorkshire setting is interesting and I enjoy the history, but the plot seems to take forever to get going.

  26. 4 out of 5

    DarkRaven Reviews

    I love how the whole storyline has been portrayed. The story makes sure you stay on the edge of your seat. Such a gripping, nail-biting read that will leave you wanting to turn those pages till you have devoured the entire book. It will definitely leave you wanting to one click all of this authors books. I'm going to be keeping my eye on this one for sure. I love how the whole storyline has been portrayed. The story makes sure you stay on the edge of your seat. Such a gripping, nail-biting read that will leave you wanting to turn those pages till you have devoured the entire book. It will definitely leave you wanting to one click all of this authors books. I'm going to be keeping my eye on this one for sure.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Mrs. Moira McGeough

    I enjoy a murder mystery and choose this as I enjoyed the first book in the series, it helps that they are set in Yorkshire, a county I know and like. DCI Oldroyd is an old fashioned detective before the time of modern hi tech aids, so the pace is much slower and none the worse for that. A famous musician is killed on stage and his even more famous violin disappears from the stage in full view of the audience, (including DCI Oldroyd. It seems an intractable mystery, but slowly pieces of the puzz I enjoy a murder mystery and choose this as I enjoyed the first book in the series, it helps that they are set in Yorkshire, a county I know and like. DCI Oldroyd is an old fashioned detective before the time of modern hi tech aids, so the pace is much slower and none the worse for that. A famous musician is killed on stage and his even more famous violin disappears from the stage in full view of the audience, (including DCI Oldroyd. It seems an intractable mystery, but slowly pieces of the puzzle fall into place. They lead into the murky world of greedy art collectors, vicious gangs willing to cater to their avarice, and a family desperate to avenge a family member. There was one incident which irked me, (it involved a cat, I'll say no more in case it's a spoiler), it just seems a lazy device. This book had echos of the last book I read, I Am Juden, in that the violin in question had been part of the Nazi loot stolen from a Jewish family. There were other links too, to that terrible time

  28. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    This is the second installment of the Yorkshire Murder Mysteries. Detective Chief Inspector Oldroyd is known to solve the odd cases that dumbfounds his peers, but he is actually present as this murder takes place in an arts center with the Schubert Quartet playing. One of the members of the quartet is murdered and the case is difficult from the beginning with no one seen leaving the building and all present in full view of each other. Complications begin immediately with the theft of a Stradivar This is the second installment of the Yorkshire Murder Mysteries. Detective Chief Inspector Oldroyd is known to solve the odd cases that dumbfounds his peers, but he is actually present as this murder takes place in an arts center with the Schubert Quartet playing. One of the members of the quartet is murdered and the case is difficult from the beginning with no one seen leaving the building and all present in full view of each other. Complications begin immediately with the theft of a Stradivarius violin from the murdered man, also in full view of the audience yet without anyone seeing the theft. As another member of the quartet turns up murdered the race to find the lost priceless violin and the murderer intensifies. This plot is not quick to unfold but very clever when finally revealed. This is a must read for fans of good British murder mysteries. Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for an honest review.

  29. 4 out of 5

    peggy

    An Historcal Murder Mystery. It all begins from a commission from a very wealthy duke asking to have made nine stringed instruments and adorned with his coat of arms on the backs of each piece. This is the story of one such piece, a violin. Today it is priceless. It is in the hands of an exceptional musician who is murdered during a concert he is part of and the violin disappears all in front of DI Oldroyd eyes as he was in the audience. I love a good murder mystery and it took me quite a while ( An Historcal Murder Mystery. It all begins from a commission from a very wealthy duke asking to have made nine stringed instruments and adorned with his coat of arms on the backs of each piece. This is the story of one such piece, a violin. Today it is priceless. It is in the hands of an exceptional musician who is murdered during a concert he is part of and the violin disappears all in front of DI Oldroyd eyes as he was in the audience. I love a good murder mystery and it took me quite a while ( nearly to the end of the book ) to find out who the murderer was. This book was entertaining and kept me enthralled until the Last page. A little gem. I would like to thank the author J R Ellis, Amazon Publishing UK and Net.galley for giving me the opportunity to read this book in return for giving an honest review.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ken Smith

    Classic I love classical music as much as I love the Yorkshire Moors both come across strongly in J. R. Ellis stories and this one had me guessing right up to the end, it was like listening to Classic FM., while watching BBC. Country File on Yorkshire, wonderful.

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