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|Title: The Mozart Code
By: Rachel Mcmillan
Number of Pages: 336
Vendor: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: 2021
|Dimensions: 7.17 X 4.71 (inches)
Weight: 12 ounces
Stock No: WW235056
No matter how you might try to hide in a war to escape your past, it is always close at hand.
Lady Sophia Huntington Villiers is no stranger to intrigue, as her work with Alan Turings Bombe Machines at Bletchley Park during the war attests. Now, as part of Simon Barres covert team in post-war Vienna, she uses her inimitable charm and code name Starling to infiltrate the world of relics: uncovering vital information that could tilt the stakes of the mounting Cold War. When several influential men charge her with finding the death mask of Mozart, Sophie wonders if there is more than the composers legacy at stake and finds herself drawn to potential answers in Prague.
Simon Barrington, the illegitimate heir of one of Sussexs oldest estates, used the previous war to hide his insecurities about his past. Now, he uses his high breeding to gain access to all four allied quarters of the ruined city in an attempt to slow the fall of the Iron Curtain. He has been in love with Sophie Villiers since the moment he met her, and a marriage of convenience to save Simons estate has always kept her close. Until now, when Sophies mysterious client in Prague forces him to wonder if her allegiance to himand their causeis in question. Torn between his loyalty to his cause and his heart, Simon seeks answers about Sophie only to learn that everything he thought he knew about his involvement in both wars is based on a lie.
"Murky espionage and burgeoning passion twine beautifully together in The Mozart Codes superbly evocative prosean enchanting read!" Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Rose Code
"Vienna is the new Paris in The Mozart Code, a World War II spy novel with deft, chess-like plotting, and plenty of old-fashioned romance." Susan Elia MacNeal, New York Times bestselling author of the Maggie Hope novels and Mother Daughter Traitor Spy
"The Mozart Code is a smart, luscious romance, a thrilling suspense, and a thunderously good read. McMillan is a rising star in historical fiction." Aimie K. Runyan, bestselling author of The School for German Brides
"Rife with secret codes, haunting melodies, betrayal and sacrifice, at its heart this is a story about the courage it takes to love and be loved. Highly recommended!" Kimberly Brock, author of The Lost Book of Eleanor Dare
"Beautifully lush and atmospheric, The Mozart Code is a novel full of nuances and brimming with danger, romance, and intrigue." Jenni L. Walsh, author of Becoming Bonnie and The Call of the Wrens
"The Mozart Code left me breathless." Joy Callaway, international bestselling author of The Fifth Avenue Artists Society and The Greenbrier Resort
Rachel McMillan is the author of The London Restoration, The Mozart Code, the Herringford and Watts mysteries, the Van Buren and DeLuca mysteries, and the Three Quarter Time series of contemporary Viennese romances. She is also the author of Dream, Plan, Go: A Travel Guide to Inspire Independent Adventure. Rachel lives in Toronto, Canada. Visit her online at rachelmcmillan.net; Instagram: @rachkmc; Facebook: @rachkmc1; Twitter: @rachkmc; Pinterest: @rachkmc.
Author: Rachel McMillan
Located in: Toronto Canada
Submitted: December 30, 2021
Tell us a little about yourself. I am the author of the Three Quarter Time series of contemporary romances, the Van Buren and DeLuca series set in 1930s Boston, the Herringford and Watts series set in Edwardian Toronto, a guide to solo travel called Dream, Plan and Go and A Very Merry Holiday Movie Guide ( which is my ode to my love for made-for-TV Christmas movies). Now, I am writing historical romances set in lush European locales including The London Restoration (2020 ) and the Mozart Code. I am a classical music aficionado, frequent independent traveler and voracious reader. Indeed, I read so much that readers will recognize my name from the many, many endorsements and blurbs I do for other authors. To add, on my author fb page I host several FB live zoom interviews with a variety of authors where readers can listen and participate. I live in Toronto, Canada.
What was your motivation behind this project? I was writing The London Restoration and created Simon Barre as a plot point character to be my heroine Diana's handler for her MI6 work with the Wren churches crucial to the post-war plot in that story. There is a scene where Diana and Simon sit to tea in The Savoy and the moment I started writing it, Simon told me his entire backstory which was richly tragic. I knew then that he needed his own book. I am a great fan of Handel's Messiah so I thought Mozart's arrangement of it as well as the fact that his death mask supposedly turned up in a pawn shop in Vienna after WWII would make a wonderfully textured fictional tapestry.
What do you hope folks will gain from this project? I hope they get an opportunity to fictionally visit two cities very dear to my heart on the page. While WWII ended in 1945, the Cold War tripped on its heels and the very real threat of the Iron Curtain amidst the reconstruction was a fascinating backdrop. I like to pick up where the film credits would usually roll: especially in my romances. Here, I hope readers are encouraged by the bravery, courage and tenacity Simon and Sophie present in their pursuit of finally accepting the grace of love and sacrifice. The 7 Greek Forms of love play a major role in the previous book The London Restoration and they are all present here as well :)
How were you personally impacted by working on this project? Readers of mine know that Vienna is my muse and that I am deeply connected to cities and historical places the way many authors are connected to character. The research trip I took specifically for Mozart Code was the last trip I took before our long pandemic lockdowns. Most of the Mozart Code was written while I was sheltering alone during our harsh pandemic restrictions and a lot of my fear, anxiety, uncertainty and insecurities play out in the fallible love story between two people who suffer from the inability to express love. It is a deeply personal project: especially in its thematic pursuit of God using broken vessels ( like the composers Handel and Mozart) to wield His voice through art on earth.
Who are your influences, sources of inspiration or favorite authors / artists? In the general market, I am a huge fan of Kate Quinn, Mimi Matthews and Eva Ibbotson. CBA writers who I adore including Elizabeth Camden, Amanda Dykes, Allison Pittman, Lynn Austin and approximately 8 trillion others!! Mozart has had a profound influence on my life and my passion for his work is evident in this book. The first book I fell in love with as a child was Vienna Prelude by Bodie Thoene: readers of the Mozart Code who are fans of this book will recognize some easter eggs as my homage to that book and its influence on my life.
Anything else you'd like readers / listeners to know: My favourite work of Christian fiction is Charles Dickens' Great Expectations. Funny, I know. Most people wouldn't consider that a work of Christian Fiction. Indeed, the genre didn't even exist then! But the themes of grace and redemption as told through Pip's journey are so resonant to me as a sort of parable of what I need to be reminded of in my Christian worldview. Thus, my stories are not ever going to be overtly Christian. Rather, I hope that they inspire readers to feel and think deeply about the Christian symbols found therein. In The London Restoration, as in the Mozart Code, houses of worship and glorious architecture act as a hymn, the use of Der Messiah ( The Mozart Arrangement) points readers to a composition that is basically the entirety of Christ's birth, resurrection and ascension housed in beautiful music. The verse "Store Not Your Treasures on Earth" is juxtaposed by the many riches, relics and artifacts and their reparation after scattered by the Nazis in WWII. I would encourage readers to open and sink into my books not expecting Christian characters and situations, per se, but to look for the themes, symbols and subtle statements I take a lot of time constructing so as to make my books as widely accessible to as many readers as possible.
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