Murder with Strings Attached

by Mark Reutlinger


GENRE: Suspense/Mystery, Humor



Sometimes even the most carefully conceived burglary can take an unexpected turn. Florence Palmer has her eye on concert violinist Aaron Levy’s priceless violin. Unfortunately, she finds it’s already been stolen. Her surprise doubles when the virtuoso she’d planned to burgle offers to hire her to help him steal it back. But they’re not the only ones looking for the missing violin. When Flo inadvertently becomes the prime suspect in a case of murder, she and Aaron need to clear her name. Will they find the real killer and get the violin back to its rightful owner without anyone else, especially themselves, being killed?



I saw nothing interesting in plain sight, so I checked the bedroom closet and then lay flat on the carpet and peeked under the bed.

Still no violin.

I was beginning to think that Aaron Levy had deliberately thwarted me by taking his violin with him or putting it in the safe—an ungentlemanly thing for him to do, given all the time and effort I was putting into finding it. I returned to the front room and was about to check the last remaining door—probably a connection to the neighboring suite—when I almost tripped over something sticking out from under the sofa. I reached down to shove it back out of the way.

The violin.

How could someone treat an instrument so valuable in such a cavalier manner, I wondered. More and more it seemed as if Mr. Aaron Levy was entirely too careless and had to be relieved of this heavy responsibility before someone…well…stole the damn thing!

And I was just the woman to do it. I opened the case and lifted up my trophy, held my flashlight close to it, and with great satisfaction, began to examine it lovingly.

And that’s when the lights came on.


My Review:

As a musician, I was excited to see a musically themed mystery! I was absolutely delighted to find this quirky, fun, and adventurous tale to be not quite what I expected, but so much more.

First, I love the premise. The whole tangled web of stealing back a stolen violin, only to find dead bodies and impossible situations along the way. The characters made the story, from Aaron, who is enthusiastic about his first heist in a naive sort of way, to Flo, a burglar who finds herself in much deeper than she ever imagined. Sprinkle in Sara, the reluctant backup, and you’ve got a winning combination!

This story was a very fun read. Even in the most dire of situations, there was a humor woven throughout that made me want more.

I hope there are more adventures in the future with these characters. Though Aaron seems determined to stay on the right side of the law from here on out, I feel like he and Flo made quite the team!

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

MARK REUTLINGER is an attorney and former law professor. He now writes novels in which the law is frequently broken, including his “Mrs. Kaplan” cozy mystery series (MRS. KAPLAN AND THE MATZOH BALL OF DEATH and A PAIN IN THE TUCHIS) and the political thrillers MADE IN CHINA and SISTER-IN-LAW: VIOLATION, SEDUCTION, AND THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES (under the pen name M. R. Morgan). MURDER WITH STRINGS ATTACHED is his latest novel. He is also a reviewer for the New York Journal of Books.

Mark and his wife Analee live in University Place, Washington, where in addition to reading and writing he plays clarinet with the Tacoma Concert Band and enjoys tennis, biking, exotic cars, model railroading, and various arts and crafts. He has no idea where he finds the time for it all.

Visit Mark at and




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5 Replies

  1. Thanks for the very nice review. I’ve always been fond of caper/crime stories, in which interesting characters try to execute an elaborate scheme (e.g., “The Hot Rock” and “Ocean’s Eleven”). You don’t see too many these days, so I decided to write my own. I’m glad you liked it. I’m pretty sure Flo will have more adventures in the future.

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