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The Musician's Daughter

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  3,654 ratings  ·  360 reviews
Murder and lovefrom the halls of Vienna’s imperial family to a perilous gypsy camp

Amid the glamour of Prince Nicholas Esterhazy’s court in 18th-century Vienna, murder is afoot. Or so fifteen-year-old Theresa Maria is convinced when her musician father turns up dead on Christmas Eve, his valuable violin missing, and the only clue to his death a strange gold pendant around
Hardcover, 323 pages
Published January 2nd 2009 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens (first published December 23rd 2008)
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Average rating 3.69  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,654 ratings  ·  360 reviews

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Mar 13, 2009 rated it it was ok
This could have been a fabulous book. It’s the story of the daughter of a violinist in Prince Esterhazy of Austria’s symphony in the eighteenth century. Like her father, Theresa loves music above all things so when her father dies under odd circumstances she goes on a hunt to find out who killed him and stole his beloved violin. Her search leads her to the greatest musicians of her time, the wickedest political counselors, and the truth behind her father’s connection to a band of gypsies.

Jul 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
I read this s book because my 11 year old daughter asked me to preview it for her. I really enjoyed the book but feel that my daughter probably isn't ready to read it.

I think another reviewer, Shanon Carthcart, summed it up quite well. She said "While the publisher positions this book as being appropriate for those 12 and older, I think it would very much depend upon the young teen in question. Dunlap deals frankly with prostitution, crime and punishment (descriptions of torture devices and so o
Nov 28, 2008 rated it really liked it
Susanne Dunlap has done a marvelous job in describing life in 18th Century Vienna. Court intrigues, jealousies between musicians (the heroine's godfather is Jozsef Haydn), and racial conflicts between the Viennese, Hungarians and the Romany are all brought to the fore in this well-crafted novel.

Sixteen-year-old Theresa Maria is the daughter of a famous violinist; her father's murder sets the stage for the novel's plot. Between helping her family keep food on the table and trying to avoid making
Sep 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A most exciting read, with a plucky, likeable heroine and adventure, mystery plus romance spun into this tale.

Dunlap brings us into the world of Vienna (my most favourite musical place in the world!!) in the 1770s, during the Habsburg empire. Theresa Maria's father, a principal violinist in the royal orchestra, has been murdered and it is up to Theresa to uncover the truth. Along the way, she finds out that there is much more to her loving, gentle father, with the help of Gypsies, her godfather
Anne Osterlund
Jul 03, 2013 rated it liked it
Theresa Maria is on a mission to discover her father’s murderer. Who would attack a simple violinist from the Prince’s orchestra? And why would her father’s corpse have been found by the river near a camp of gypsies? And why do all the people she trusts seem to know more about her father than she does?

Theresa is determined to learn more. But the more she learns, the more she begins to care. About the same issues that appear to have led to her father’s death.

I liked the 18th century setting for t
this is such a good little book. i went into this fully expecting not to fall in love with it, but fall in love with it i did. set in 1700s’ vienna, this is the story of fifteen-year-old theresa maria schurman, the daughter of a violinist who works in the emperor’s court. but her world is turned upside down when her beloved father is found dead on christmas eve, with no clue as to how he has ended up this way. he has not been robbed, save one item: his violin and its case. thus theresa sets out ...more
Emily Flagstad
Mar 01, 2017 rated it it was ok
I was pre-reading this for my daughter, but I was not impressed in the least. She won't enjoy this largely "fluff" book about yet another stereotypical helpless female protagonist. Yes, she investigates her father's murder, but the story of her petticoats and dresses is not entertaining.
Sep 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well, let's just start this by saying, I read this book in one night. Literally. I started it around three o'clock yesterday afternoon and other than a few breaks for class and social life, I read pretty much non-stop - even breaking my self imposed bedtime of midnight.

Other than my own personal habit of getting insanely attached to books until I stop caring about life-essentials, this book was just addicting. The setting was unique - who else writes books about Germany pre-unification? The pre
Emily Ruth
Jun 16, 2009 rated it it was ok
I had high hopes for Musician's Daughter, because the cover looked decent, it's a murder mystery, it has to do with music, and Theresa is on speaking terms with Haydn. The Haydn. For those of you who don't know, he's a really famous composer.
But honestly, it was kind of slow.
It started out great- murder, creepy necklace no one knew about, cute guy, hot chocolate... you know, just little things that pull you in. And that lasted at the most about 100 pages or so. And then we're left with a creepy
Books and Literature for Teens
Courtesy of BLT Reviews:

History, a mystery, and a little music.
The Musician’s Daughter is a mysterious and musical story of a girl’s desperate search for truth and justice. The characters were very true to their era (even if they’re were a little too vague sometimes)-it was the fad back then to be extremely polite and obedient, even if it meant life or death; being vague and secretive, and no emo showing whatsoever. The book had a sense of adventure and my
Feb 09, 2009 rated it liked it
I'm enjoying this, but it's just not what I'm in the mood to read right now, plus I need to focus on getting through the Book Thief for my book club next week. And that's a pretty big book...I'll let you know what I think when I get back to this one!

2/18/09 I finished last night and it got much better and I really enjoyed it. This 3 is more like 3 3/4s, but it wasn't quite a 4. It was well written and very enjoyable, but there was something lacking to make it spectacular.

There was something cho
May 16, 2016 marked it as did-not-finish
Gonna have to DNF this one for now, but...
I love the idea of this book. It takes place during the classical music era and, as far as I can tell, deals with Joseph Haydn in some way. Which is amazing. As a fan of classical music and Haydn, I was thrilled when I heard about this book, so I will most certainly be reading it at some later point... just maybe not right now.

As far as I have read in this book (and I'll admit, it's not very far), I have been interested--I do want to know what happens n
Selin Mandani
Jan 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The Musician's Daughter was a book that had both romance, and an adventure. It starts on Christmas Eve, when Theresa's father is brought home.....dead.Theresa is convinced to find her father's missing, prized possesion, his violin, but the only way to do that is to enter his music world, and reveal the missing pieces to the puzzle. My favorite quote would be: "Mirela took the medallion in her hand and gazed at it as if she were trying to read the future in her palm. It is a curious thing,she mur ...more
When Theresa, the 15 year old daughter of a musician who has been murdered decides to investigate her father's death, she finds herself deeply involved with radical politics in 18th century Austria. This is the sort of political machinations that I enjoy.

I loved the musical aspect. Theresa is herself a musician, and the composer Haydn is a major character. There is also the music of the gypsies and gypsy musicians in Haydn's orchestra. I finished the novel wanting to read more about Haydn.

The b
Gwen the Librarian
Fifteen-year-old Theresa is the daughter of a violinist playing in the glamorous royal court of 18th century Vienna. When her father turns up murdered, Theresa is determined to find out more about his death, if not solve the mystery. But the social constraints of both her sex and her social position get in Theresa's way as she tries to move in various circles to get more information. Gypsies, musicians, courtiers, and even Haydn himself are all part of the wider mystery that grows more and more ...more
It's 18th century in Vienna, Austria. Theresa Maria's father is a violinist and, on Christmas Eve, he is brought home and has been murdered. Although her mother would like to get her married (with the help of her rich uncle, who disowned his sister - Theresa Maria's mother), Theresa Maria insists on trying to find out who killed her father. This brings her into contact with gypsies, rich unscrupulous men, other musicians, and more, and sends her on a bit of an “adventure” (without giving too muc ...more
The Book Queen
Feb 06, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: meh, coverlove
I wasn't really sure what to expect when I started reading this, but the end result was not it.

I didn't love it, but it wasn't really that bad. It's quite slow moving until up to about halfway, and from then on there's still not much action. The world-building isn't great; nothing is really described, including the characters. They didn't go through much growth and always seemed like silhouettes; they had no personalities, nothing that made them into real people rather than words on a page. The
Fifteen-year-old Theresa has just received the worst news of her life: her father, a musician in Haydn's orchestra in 18th century Vienna, is dead and his most valuable possession, his violin, is missing. Theresa is sure that her father has been the victim of foul play, and despite her mother's determination that their next step must be to marry Theresa off, Theresa starts unraveling the mystery as best she can. But as Theresa investigates she learns some unsettling facts about her father and hi ...more
Nov 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves music or mysteries!
When Theresa Maria recieves the shocking news that her father was found dead on Christmas Eve, she can't help but wonder why he had died. He was supposed to be playing in the orchestra at the prince's Chistmas Eve ball, but reportedly never showed. What's worse news to Theresa is that her father's beautiful violin is missing. The fact that it was supposedly with him the night he died leads Theresa to believe that her father was murdered.

As she searches deeper for answers, Theresa becomes envolve
Nov 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
This was, by far, my favorite Susanne Dunlap book. It is an intriguing mystery with wonderful characters (especially Zoltan and his sister), fun references to historical people (Salieri, Mozart, Haydn, ect.), and even a likable romance which does not get in the way of the story! The Author's love for music rings clear in the writing, even making someone who isn't a musician or doesn't care for classical music feel Theresa's longing to be able to play the violin.

The content is very light, especia
Sep 23, 2013 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This book definitely gets 5 stars from me as I was just wanted to carry on reading everytime I opened the book. It was filled with intrigue, corruption, murder and danger. You were always hoping that nothing bad would happen to Rezia (the main character). The intrigue came when you just had to know what happened to Rezia's father and how high members of society were involved in this and other horrible crimes.

The writing was constant throughout the whole novel and it flowed at a really good pace
Apr 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: stand-alones
I gave this book 4.5/5 Stars

This book was not anything I expected. I'm going to admit something. I buy books based off their covers. I don't usually read the summery. So based off the title, cover, and first sentence of the summery, I thought this book was about a girl taking her dad's spot in the orchestra after he was murdered. Instead I read an amazingly written murder mystery. This book is set in 18th century Vienna. I really love what this book teaches. It teaches the reader not to be prej
Feb 02, 2012 rated it liked it
I liked this one. I really wish there was more YA historical fiction (maybe when the trend of dystopia calms down?) and I am always on the lookout for more. This one combined many things I like; the historical part of course, but also the mystery. Romance can be good, but a great mystery will always have my preference.

I had two problems with The Musician’s Daughter that kept me from completely loving it; the predictability of the story, and the disconnect I had with Theresa. Through her tragedy
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Joan Stradling for

Christmas Eve is supposed to be a happy time, but Theresa will remember it as the night her father was murdered and his violin stolen.

A musician in her own right, Theresa is drawn into her father's world and is determined to discover the truth about his death.

Her search uncovers secrets about her father and the musician's world; secrets that lead her into dangerous circles. She isn't sure who she can trust as her investigation brings her into the co
Mar 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recently, I read "The Musician's Daughter" by Susanne Dunlap. My overall reaction? Beautifully written, although slow in the beginning, and I would recommend it to everyone.
TMD is about a young Austrian/German woman of 15, Theresa, who's famed-violinist father is murdered on Christmas Eve. The events take place at/near the Esterhazy Palace, in the years of the American Revolution. When Theresa discovers that her father's violin is missing, she decides to investigate the murder herself. In the pr
Diana Hanke
Nov 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
Possibly because of my background as a musician and my love of Hayden's music, I found myself totally immersed in the 18th century Vienna portrayed within The Musician's Daughter. Theresa Maria, a spunky and determined 15 year old, seeks to discover why her father was murdered while managing to keep her family provided for. She follows a web of clues enhanced by the music of the 18th century Romanies and Joseph Hayden himself. I loved Theresa's story. It is an engaging piece of historical fictio ...more
Mar 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Synopsys- Being a violinist has always been Theresa Maria’s dream but when her father turns up dead one night after supposedly playing for the prince Theresa puts her dreams on hold to bring her fathers unfortunate death a sense of closure.

Audience: Female teens
Purpose: Entertainment
Medium: Novel
Genre-setting: Realistic Fiction
Genre-style: Tragicomedy
Genre-plot: Romance/thriller

Criticism- The novel The Musician’s Daughter by Susanne Dunlap is a wonderfully intoxicating story of a
Mar 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
Just finished this very fun musical, historical fiction, murder mystery, coming of age story. I know, that's a lot to pack into one book, but it was beautifully done. Set in Vienna, the protagonist is the daughter of the principle violinist in the Prince's orchestra under Maestro Hayden. When her father is found murdered on Christmas Eve with his violin missing, Theresa tries to find out what happened and why. I loved this viewpoint on Vienna at the end of the 18th century. So many themes delica ...more
Jun 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
Theresa seeks answers about her father's death and comes up with more intrigue than she bargained for in this historical mystery/thriller that takes place in Vienna at the court of Prince Nicholas Esterhazy. Readers learn a bit about Franz Joseph Hayden, the Roma people ("Gypsies"),and 18th century Vienna. The protagonist was plucky and smart, but probably not true to the time period, when girls wouldn't have had the options she created for herself, would have been more protected, and might not ...more
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Play Book Tag: The Musician's Daughter / Susanne Dunlap. 4 stars 4 10 Sep 23, 2016 07:06PM  

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Susanne Dunlap is the author of seven works of historical fiction. Two are for adults (Emilie's Voice and Liszt's Kiss, both published by Touchstone books of Simon & Schuster). Four are for young adults (The Musician's Daughter, Anastasia's Secret, In the Shadow of the Lamp, and The Academie, published by Bloomsbury). A graduate of Smith College with a PhD in Music History from Yale University ...more