The Luthier's Apprentice - Mayra Calvani

Mayra Calvani’s “The Luthier’s Apprentice” is an imaginative short novel composed of elements diverse enough to appeal to a variety
of readers. As the story opens, sixteen-year-old Emma Braun discovers that her
beloved violin teacher, Monsieur Dupriez, has disappeared, as have several
other violinists around the world. Determined to emulate her favorite literary
hero, Sherlock Holmes, she sets about investigating, forming new alliances and
uncovering centuries-old secrets about her family’s luthier craft and her aloof
grandfather, to whom she is apprenticed. Suddenly the strange feelings she has
been experiencing and the puzzles associated with her heritage begin to become
startlingly clear, thrusting Emma into a bizarre realm in which all that she
loves becomes endangered.

A mixture of paranormal fantasy and science fiction with a light romantic
element, “The Luthier’s Apprentice” provides enough excitement and mystique to
engage readers without being overtly frightening, and fans of Sherlock Holmes
will appreciate the myriad quotations that Calvani employs. Given the
characters and simple yet descriptive writing, the target audience is young
adult, although older readers will enjoy this story as well. A slight caveat:
there are a few instances of mild profanity during some of the more tense
scenes, and Italian phrases and terms are scattered throughout the story,
although with either an immediate translation or sufficient context clues to
figure out the meaning. Short chapters keep the action moving at a steady pace
so that there are no lulls, and the story does come to a logical conclusion,
although Calvani cunningly leaves the door (or should I say portal?) open for a