Music professor Bern Hendricks discovers a shocking secret about the most famous American composer of all time—his music may have been stolen from a Black Jazz Age prodigy named Josephine Reed. Determined to uncover the truth that a powerful organization wants to keep hidden, Bern will stop at nothing to right history's wrongs and give Josephine the recognition she deserves.
Pitch-perfect ... A gripping read that seamlessly jumps between Bern and Eboni’s present-day pursuit of the truth and Delaney and Josephine’s tragic story from decades before. Although the mystery is taut and the characters engaging, what makes the book sing is how it makes audible the chords that echo between present and past, coming together to create a consonant harmony. Slocumb dexterously interlaces the two plotlines ... Slocumb’s writing is invigorating, and the detail in his character work makes the main characters in both time periods easy to root for. The arc of the story mirrors the sensation of listening to an unfamiliar piece of classical music and thinking 'This is nice' as it starts, then suddenly finding yourself rapt, then thrilled, then, by the end of the journey, entirely astonished.
Stirring ... A provocative follow up ... Page-turning ... Readers may see what's coming as they follow Hendricks' investigation, but Slocumb writes an intriguing and vivid story about social injustice, cultural appropriation and 'whitewashing.' While Symphony of Secrets is not a thrill-a-minute story like the one embedded in The Violin Conspiracy, its more thoughtful pacing carries an important message about race and privilege and the lengths to which people in power will go to manipulate history.
Absorbing ... A fast-paced detective adventure ... Delaney, Bern and Eboni are all entertaining, but Josephine emerges as singularly intriguing ... Though Josephine’s mindscape is fascinating, Slocumb doesn’t quite succeed in taking us inside it. The conventional narration he gives her barely suggests a kaleidoscopic mind’s sensory magic. But Slocumb seems less interested in psychological probing than a steady-paced adventure ... Amid the heart-racing plot, Symphony of Secrets is ultimately an affirmation.