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Sent to the Devil
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Sent to the Devil

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  72 ratings  ·  23 reviews
In 1788 Vienna, Court Poet Lorenzo Da Ponte is putting some finishing touches on the libretto for the premiere of his new opera with Mozart, Don Giovanni. A huge success when it debuted in Prague, the Emperor has decreed that it shall be performed in Vienna. But Joseph II is off prosecuting a less-than-popular war against the Turks, and the city itself is in a bit of turmo ...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published April 5th 2016 by Minotaur Books
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Mar 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, reviewed
This is the second book in the series featuring the Venetian priest, Lorenzo Da Ponte, who now works as an opera librettist and poet in Vienna. I thought this book was quite a bit better than the first one. The mystery plot is tighter and there is actually a logical reason why Da Ponte gets involved in a murder investigation. Since Da Ponte continues to work at the opera house during his investigation, the author gets to introduce Mozart and a group of singers into the story, however, as in the ...more
nikkia neil
Sep 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, mystery
Thanks St. Martin's Press and netgalley for this ARC.

Laura Lebow is a genius at putting a great historical mystery together. I'm awed at how everything comes together and the surprises she has in store for us to come. I was so excited to read the second book of this series, and it was even better than the first.
Mar 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, reviewed
A rich tapestry of life in Vienna at the time of Amadeus Mozart and Emperor Joseph II, where religious and political passions flare. Here we meet (or meet again, if you've read Lebow's, "The Figaro Murders") Court Poet Lorenzo Da Pontem. He wants only to create ethereal poetry and operatic librettos, yet is drawn into a murder mystery when the brutal killing and disfigurement of his dearest friend, an aged priest dedicated to his studies, is linked to the murder of a supercilious retired militar ...more
Italo Italophiles
Apr 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Sent to the Devil is book two in the traditional mystery series set in Vienna, Austria, in the late 1700s, featuring amateur detective Lorenzo da Ponte, the Venetian poet and opera librettist who worked most famously with Mozart on several of his most famous operas. The book is set two years after the previous book, Figaro Murders, the first book in the series.

The Mozart-Da Ponte opera Don Giovanni, the Italianized story of Spanish Don Juan, is the work that keeps Da Ponte busy in Sent to the D
Marina Sofia
Mar 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this historical mystery about a serial killer in Vienna, which keeps the gore off the page and the historical atmosphere of the city at the front of mind. Da Ponte is a lonely and thoughtful hero, and I liked the cameos of Casanova and Mozart, the allusions to the tense political atmosphere of the time, the descriptions of Vienna. The motivation for the murders may seem a tad over the top, until we remember that the reforms of Joseph II to the church, for instance, really angered ...more
Margaret Sankey
Aug 05, 2017 rated it liked it
This is an engaging historical procedural, in which Joseph II's court librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte, an expat from Venice, navigates the complex world of 1788 Vienna--someone is murdering society figures: a retired general, a society priest, a louche nobleman--and while the Austrian Empire is at war with the Ottoman Empire and struggling with the Emperor's social and legal reforms, any spark could be disastrous. Lebow uses a real historical figure, with cameos from Casanova, Mozart and Salieri, to ...more
The Backlist Book
Sep 08, 2019 rated it it was ok
While there were a few moments that had me unable to put it down, the bulk of this felt like a lot of exposition that unfortunately hid important contextual clues needed to enjoy the story. Ultimately it was a bit of a snooze fest and took me far too long to read.

The pacing was off for me. This is likely due to the aforementioned exposition. Also, there were certain plot details that really shouldn't have been included, or should've been more in focus.

I also had a very hard time buying that the
Nov 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
Sent to the Devil is a historical mystery set in late 18th century Vienna. Court poet Lorenzo Da Ponte is working with Mozart on revisions to the words for his new opera. But following the death of his friend, a retired priest, Lorenzo is drawn into the investigation of a series of murders. I particularly liked the detailed descriptions of the historical setting.

I received a free review copy of Sent to the Devil through Goodreads Giveaways.
Oct 17, 2016 rated it liked it
It is notoriously difficult to write a convincing period novel involving historical characters. It certainly is an original thought to involve Lorenzo da Ponte, Mozart's librettist, in solving a murder. (Well, if clergyman like Grantchester and Father Brown can be detectives, why not poets?)

Admirable the authors efforts may be, I find the behaviour, speech, and sensibilities of the characters far too modern. The way the characters interact and talk with each other, it could have happened last we
Nov 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Elbow recreates a believable vienna of 1788 in this second of her series. i haven't read the first but will try to obtain it. I thought the recreation of the historical characters of Mozart and Casanova reasonable according to what i know of them. The setup of the misery and murders was good. a nice read on a snowy day,
Russ Cross
Apr 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book. I'd like to read more by this author.
Gail Cooke
May 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing

Intrigue and murder take the fore in Laura Lebow’s sequel to last year’s The Figaro Murders. Set in Venice in 1788 and punctuated with robust period detail we find Court Poet Lorenzo Da Ponte wishing only for time to work on the libretto for Mozart’s Don Giovanni. This is of great importance as the opera is to be a command performance for Emperor Joseph II who recently declared war against the Turks. That decision has seriously divided the capital city creating tension among the populace, and L
Mar 14, 2016 rated it it was ok
This wasn't a bad novel, but it didn't really strike a cord with me. I found it rather "meh". I did enjoy the setting. Lebow's depiction of Vienna was wonderfully immersive and really makes you visualize the city as it was in 1788. The characters were also fine. I didn't have any major complaints other than maybe there were too many. But really, the "meh" comes from the plot. I honestly just didn't care. It was such a struggle to get through this book because I really didn't care about what happ ...more
Aug 03, 2016 rated it it was ok
The are a lot of 4 and 5 stars for this book and I can't figure out why. I like the idea behind this book, Mozart's partner and friend Lorenzo solving mysteries but this mystery had nothing to do with opera. The murders were bizarre so I finished this book to find out who done it. But there were so many characters and coincidences it was hard to keep track. And did the author have to mention 100 times that Lorenzo grabbed his cloak and his satchel??? Come on!! The characters were flat, I don't k ...more
Criminal Element
May 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Spring, 1788. Austria is on the brink of war with the Ottoman Empire and already soldiers are dying of disease in the camps along the front. The exiled Venetian Lorenzo Da Ponte—Royal Librettist for the Emperor—is hard at work revising his lyrics for Mozart's opera, Don Giovanni.

And a killer stalks the streets of Vienna.

When the murderer attacks Da Ponte's closest friend, a retired priest, the poet finds himself, yet again, unwillingly embroiled in death and madness. Well aware of how prejudiced
Andy Oram
Apr 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: literature
Late 18th-century Vienna in this book seems full of potential murderers, and Da Ponte goes through all of them before uncovering the mystery. The mixture of mystery with historical fiction allows Lebow to explore many little-known sides of life in this tumultuous time, and you can never know when she is presenting you with a clue you need to remember or just regaling you with rich detail about Viennese culture. As with the Figaro Murders, this book cleverly incorporates characters and scenes fro ...more
Jan 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley-reads
This is the second book in Laura Lebow's historical mystery series based in Mozart's Vienna, and I can only hope there are more books to come from this author.

The book is a well written murder mystery without being too gory, which I appreciated as blood and guts books are an immediate turn-off for me. I also loved the setting of 18th century Vienna and the background of opera, in particular Don Giovanni. My only real complaint is that there were a few too many characters which bogged things dow
Mar 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, ebooks, mystery
This series is growing on me. In the first book I was really confused about the choice of protagonist, but it works better in this one. I liked the addition of Casanova and the continuing story of Mozart and the opera scene was just enough to be interesting, but not too much to overshadow the murder plot aspect of the book. To date, I've read so many Dante-esque themed murders that I've lost count, but this is the first that focused on Purgatory instead of Inferno. Overall, I like where this ser ...more
Harper Sutherland
Nov 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic mystery! I thoroughly enjoyed this story and immediately went to get the book before this one in what I hope becomes a series. I think Laura Lebow has an excellent talent for incorporating social history and making the changing Austrian Empire a part of the story.
I received a copy of this book through a Goodreads giveaway. I have since shared my copy with several other people who have enjoyed this book as well.
Jan 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: giveaways, mystery
This book was pretty good. An interesting mystery, with a bit of a love story, and an interesting insight into opera construction and history. If I came across Lebow again, I would read her, but I wouldn't go looking for the rest in the series. If you are a big mystery fan, especially historical mystery, then you will probably love this book.
I received this book as a Goodreads giveaway.
Focused on Don Giovanni, the world of operas and Dante’s Divine Comedy, superb historical mystery at the heart of Vienna. Well written, with true to life characters, and an irresistible suspense. A must for all lovers of history and mystery.

My full review is here:
Rhonda Lomazow
Apr 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is the second book in the series&I am already looking forward to the third .Historical fiction Vienna opera a mystery a page turner. ...more
Veronica Valladares
Rather enjoyable book but wasn't as interesting as one might have thought.It is really hard to visualize a city in 1788.
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Laura Lebow holds a degree in European History from Brandeis University and a Master in City Planning from MIT. A long-time mystery reader and history buff, she lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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