The Ghost of Frédéric Chopin by Éric Faye

Today I’m taking part in the Walter Presents Series Blog Tour, a series of books published by Pushkin Press in partnership with Walter Presents. There are four books so far in the series, and The Ghost of Frédéric Chopin is number 3, released in May 2021.

Blurb

The third book in the Walter Presents Library: a bewitching Prague-set mystery about a woman who claims to transcribe music from the ghost of Chopin

Prague, 1995: journalist Ludvík Slaný is assigned to make a documentary about a truly bizarre case. Věra Foltýnova, a middle-aged woman with no musical training, claims she has been visited by the ghost of great composer Frederic Chopin – and that he has been dictating dozens of compositions to her, to allow the world to hear the sublime music he was unable to create in his own short life.

With media and recording companies taking the bait, Ludvík enlists the help of ex-Communist secret police agent Pavel Černý to expose Věra as a fraud. Soon, however, doubt creeps in, as he finds himself irrationally drawn towards this unassuming woman and the eerily beautiful music she plays. Could he be witnessing a true miracle?

An intricately plotted mystery imbued with the dusky atmosphere of autumnal Prague, The Ghost of Frederic Chopin is an engrossing story of art, faith and the quiet accompaniment of the past.

Review

I’d already had my eye on the Walter Presents series, I think it was the covers, the way the books stood out with their bright covers and simplistic design. It was the kind of book that you could see yourself picking up in a bookshop.

I was looking forward to reading this book and it didn’t disappoint, filled with twists and turns and a hell of a lot of questions, both from the reader and the journalist.

I realised later in the book that it was partially based on something that happened in real life, but the idea is a bit bonkers if I’m honest, would Chopin really come back to write pieces for the modern world? So perhaps that affected my reading of the book, I felt that the idea was mad, that the journalist was sure to find the right answer.

The journalist does seem to go a bit mad towards the end of the as he’s determined to bring the fraud down, and it makes you want to laugh in places just how far he really goes.

Overall, a really interesting read and highly recommend to those that enjoy mysteries that are a little bit different.

Many thanks to Poppy Luckett at Pushkin Press for sending me a review copy of The Ghost of Frédéric Chopin by Éric Faye.

Be sure to follow the rest of the blog tour over on Twitter!

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