The year is 1879. The prestigious post of Organist and Master of the Choristers at Hartley Parish Church, West Yorkshire, has recently become vacant because of the sudden death of Dr Thomas Burchill. Burchill was renowned the length and breadth of both Britain and the Empire in terms of choir training; so much so that Queen Victoria had summoned the singers to Windsor Castle on more than one occasion.

Burchill’s position is now up for grabs, and there are a long list of contenders for the role: this will be a once in a lifetime opportunity for the successful applicant, for not only will they rule the music at the Parish Church, but they will dominate music-making of every kind throughout Hartleydale. More to the point, Hartley Parish Church is on the verge of becoming a Cathedral, subject to passing a number of stringent tests, one of which is an independent assessment of the standard of the music-making.

Out of the 70 people who apply for the post of Organist, six are shortlisted by the ambitious Vicar, Dr Percy G. Banks, assisted by his long-time friend and mentor, Professor Temple Mann, from Yorbridge University.

The day of the auditions arrives. One of the candidates fails to appear; a second is taken ill before he can perform. Of the remaining four, Mann rejects three out of hand, saying that there is only one possible candidate for such an important post: Dr Charles Verney, previously Assistant Organist at Hartley.

Success seems assured for the choristers and the music of the Parish Church and a celebratory dinner is held on the evening of Verney’s confirmation in post. The following day, the new Organist is expected to take his first practice but is nowhere to be seen when the time comes. He is not at his residence by the entrance to the churchyard and his wife and children last said goodbye to him as he went on his teaching rounds in nearby Holme Hill. A search of the church itself is carried out: lo and behold, Verney is at the keys of his beloved instrument; not asleep, but quite dead: killed at the organ keys.

Thus begins a story of murder, betrayal, passion, poisoned relationships and much more. Victorian Hartleydale will be rocked to its foundations as the truth behind its prim and proper establishment begins to emerge. Detective Chief Inspector Wright Watson, Head of the newly formed Hartleydale CID, will have to disentangle a complex web of lies, deceit, double-dealing, and downright hypocrisy in order to cleanse the town, its parish church, its political class and its governing society once and for all. He will nearly die himself in the process; all because of one person’s ruthless and murderous ambition to dominate the world of the church organ loft.       

        

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CHANNILLO
The Organ Loft Murders
By David Baker

Series Description:

The year is 1879. The prestigious post of Organist and Master of the Choristers at Hartley Parish Church, West Yorkshire, has recently become vacant because of the sudden death of Dr Thomas Burchill. Burchill was renowned the length and breadth of both Britain and the Empire in terms of choir training; so much so that Queen Victoria had summoned the singers to Windsor Castle on more than one occasion.

Burchill’s position is now up for grabs, and there are a long list of contenders for the role: this will be a once in a lifetime opportunity for the successful applicant, for not only will they rule the music at the Parish Church, but they will dominate music-making of every kind throughout Hartleydale. More to the point, Hartley Parish Church is on the verge of becoming a Cathedral, subject to passing a number of stringent tests, one of which is an independent assessment of the standard of the music-making.

Out of the 70 people who apply for the post of Organist, six are shortlisted by the ambitious Vicar, Dr Percy G. Banks, assisted by his long-time friend and mentor, Professor Temple Mann, from Yorbridge University.

The day of the auditions arrives. One of the candidates fails to appear; a second is taken ill before he can perform. Of the remaining four, Mann rejects three out of hand, saying that there is only one possible candidate for such an important post: Dr Charles Verney, previously Assistant Organist at Hartley.

Success seems assured for the choristers and the music of the Parish Church and a celebratory dinner is held on the evening of Verney’s confirmation in post. The following day, the new Organist is expected to take his first practice but is nowhere to be seen when the time comes. He is not at his residence by the entrance to the churchyard and his wife and children last said goodbye to him as he went on his teaching rounds in nearby Holme Hill. A search of the church itself is carried out: lo and behold, Verney is at the keys of his beloved instrument; not asleep, but quite dead: killed at the organ keys.

Thus begins a story of murder, betrayal, passion, poisoned relationships and much more. Victorian Hartleydale will be rocked to its foundations as the truth behind its prim and proper establishment begins to emerge. Detective Chief Inspector Wright Watson, Head of the newly formed Hartleydale CID, will have to disentangle a complex web of lies, deceit, double-dealing, and downright hypocrisy in order to cleanse the town, its parish church, its political class and its governing society once and for all. He will nearly die himself in the process; all because of one person’s ruthless and murderous ambition to dominate the world of the church organ loft.       

        

Category/Genre(s): Mystery/Thriller, Adult Fiction
Updated: Weekly
Status: Upcoming









Series Description:

The year is 1879. The prestigious post of Organist and Master of the Choristers at Hartley Parish Church, West Yorkshire, has recently become vacant because of the sudden death of Dr Thomas Burchill. Burchill was renowned the length and breadth of both Britain and the Empire in terms of choir training; so much so that Queen Victoria had summoned the singers to Windsor Castle on more than one occasion.

Burchill’s position is now up for grabs, and there are a long list of contenders for the role: this will be a once in a lifetime opportunity for the successful applicant, for not only will they rule the music at the Parish Church, but they will dominate music-making of every kind throughout Hartleydale. More to the point, Hartley Parish Church is on the verge of becoming a Cathedral, subject to passing a number of stringent tests, one of which is an independent assessment of the standard of the music-making.

Out of the 70 people who apply for the post of Organist, six are shortlisted by the ambitious Vicar, Dr Percy G. Banks, assisted by his long-time friend and mentor, Professor Temple Mann, from Yorbridge University.

The day of the auditions arrives. One of the candidates fails to appear; a second is taken ill before he can perform. Of the remaining four, Mann rejects three out of hand, saying that there is only one possible candidate for such an important post: Dr Charles Verney, previously Assistant Organist at Hartley.

Success seems assured for the choristers and the music of the Parish Church and a celebratory dinner is held on the evening of Verney’s confirmation in post. The following day, the new Organist is expected to take his first practice but is nowhere to be seen when the time comes. He is not at his residence by the entrance to the churchyard and his wife and children last said goodbye to him as he went on his teaching rounds in nearby Holme Hill. A search of the church itself is carried out: lo and behold, Verney is at the keys of his beloved instrument; not asleep, but quite dead: killed at the organ keys.

Thus begins a story of murder, betrayal, passion, poisoned relationships and much more. Victorian Hartleydale will be rocked to its foundations as the truth behind its prim and proper establishment begins to emerge. Detective Chief Inspector Wright Watson, Head of the newly formed Hartleydale CID, will have to disentangle a complex web of lies, deceit, double-dealing, and downright hypocrisy in order to cleanse the town, its parish church, its political class and its governing society once and for all. He will nearly die himself in the process; all because of one person’s ruthless and murderous ambition to dominate the world of the church organ loft.       

        

Category/Genre(s): Mystery/Thriller, Adult Fiction
Updated: Weekly
Status: Upcoming