What makes a great violin? What makes a great violinist?

When the eccentric but brilliant violinist Donato del Nero arrives in London in 1901 for a recital, accompanied by his young and beautiful fiancée, he discovers that his priceless instrument – the Medici Stradivarius – has been stolen. Only on the Medici, once the secret treasure of Paganini and rumoured to possess near-magical properties as Stradivarius’ masterpiece, has del Nero been able to realise his enormous potential as a peerless genius of the violin. Without it he fears the collapse of his talent.

Fortunately Mr Sherlock Holmes, whose own talents have been languishing since the death of archrival Professor Moriarty and who has been contemplating retirement from criminal detection, is pressed into action. His investigation of the theft becomes simultaneously a fascinating inquiry into the secrets of violin-making and the art of musical interpretation and virtuosity.

Erudite and witty, The Case of the Missing Stradivarius is sure to delight players and lovers of music, as well as fans of Conan Doyle’s immortal detective.