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The Mozart Code by Rachel McMillan

In postwar Vienna, Simon Barre and Sophie Villiers, who formerly cracked codes at Britain’s Bletchley Park, are now fighting a new war, a cold war. Simon is determined to bring down a ring of communists who want to cause an uprising in Vienna and turn the nation to their cause. He begins receiving cryptic notes using chess notation from a man called “Das Flüstern” – The Whisper – a man who seems to know his strengths and weaknesses. Meanwhile, Simon’s weaknesses come to a head – his antagonistic relationship with his stepfather – and his complicated relationship with Sophie. A relationship neither one of them dares to label as “love.”

Sophie is following her own agenda in Vienna, returning artifacts scattered during the war to their rightful owners. Her work brings her in contact with characters whose motives aren’t always pure, many of whom long to use the artifacts for political purposes. When Sophie receives requests from two separate sources to find Mozart’s death mask, which might not even exist, the dangers increase as she journeys between Vienna and Prague, unable to take even Simon into her confidence.

Deftly traversing the lushness of Vienna and Prague and upper-crust England, The Mozart Code brings to life the glories and devastation and intrigue of postwar Europe. Shady characters and cryptic codes and mixed motives and double-crosses make for a pulse-pounding read. And oh, the romance! Simon and Sophie’s story is one for the ages, crackling with electricity and witty banter and buried hurts and guarded emotions. Rachel McMillan’s beautiful writing encourages you to read slowly, to savor the lines and ponder the clues—but the story propels you to flip pages faster than a Mozart arpeggio! Enjoy the journey.

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