________________ CM . . . . Volume 21 Number 20 . . . . January 30, 2015


Beethovenís Tenth. (Rapid Reads: A Frank Ryan Mystery).

Brian Harvey.
Victoria, BC: Raven Books/Orca, 2015.
139 pp., pbk., pdf & epub, $9.95 (pbk.).
ISBN 978-1-4598-0869-0 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-4598-0870-6 (pdf), ISBN 978-1-4598-0871-3 (epub).

Grades 9 and up / Ages 14 and up.

Review by Christina Pike.

*** /4

Reviewed from Advance Reading Copy.


"Is here," she muttered. "Is still here, must be still here."

The doorbell rang, but Miss P. kept on searching. "Open, Frankie. Is my next student." She tossed another sheaf onto the pile at her feet. I'd almost made it to the door when she let out a shriek. "I found!"

I turned around. She was waving a thick bundle at me. A little cloud of dust rose from fluttering pages. "For you," she said.

The student was going to have to wait. Miss P. was breathing hard, as if she'd just played a Rachmaninoff concerto. And she wasn't about to be denied. "Before I change mind," she said, jamming the bundle into my hands. "Today I don't pay you in money." She clutched her heart and rolled her eyes, and I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. She could have been in a silent movie. She certainly had the makeup right.

"Today," Miss Pieczynski intoned, "I pay you in art."

It was quite a performance. I looked at the handwritten title on the cover. Songs of Springtime. If there was anything I disliked more than classical music, it was light classical music.

"Miss P., really, you shouldn't." I started to hand it back, but Miss P. out maneuvered me. She held both arms out, and suddenly she didn't look dotty anymore. She just looked old. And frightened.


In Beethoven's Tenth, Brian Harvey writes about Frank Ryan, a piano tuner, caught up in a world of murder and mystery. Paid in kind with what turns out to be Beethoven's Tenth movement, Frank Ryan is targeted by assassins who will stop at nothing to get this original. Ryan must not only figure out whom to trust but also how to stay alive and preserve this piece of music history.

     Harvey has created a believable character in Frank Ryan. The circumstances that he finds himself in become very complicated very quickly. As an unlikely detective, Ryan escapes his attacker and manages to outsmart everyone, even the detectives. Rather than create a simple plot, Harvey writes a story that has many twists and turns. Beethoven's Tenth is not a simple story, but a page-turner that requires close attention to detail. A quick read.


Christina Pike is the Principal of St. Paul's Junior High in St. John's, NL.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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