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Extended Audio Sample The Music of the Spheres Audiobook, by Elizabeth Redfern Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (437 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Elizabeth Redfern Narrator: Tim Curry Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2001 ISBN: 9780743519878
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In the London of 1795, intrigue and death walk the dark streets. England is at war with its neighbor and nemesis, France, and espionage is rampant. It is the job of Jonathan Absey at the Home Office to catch these spies, but his mind is elsewhere, his dreams haunted by the still unsolved murder of his fifteen-year-old daughter on these same streets.

 

Desperately pursuing both investigations, he stumbles across a strange society of astronomers called the Company of Titius who are on a furious search of their own: to discover a long-lost star in the wide black sky. As he digs into their arcane world, their quest begins to merge with his own, and Absey finds himself discovering more than he had ever imagined -- not only about spies and murderers but also about celestial numbers and the making of codes; about passions as unnatural as they are obsessive; and about the bonds of family...and the lengths we will go to preserve them.

With The Music of the Spheres, Elizabeth Redfern emerges as an evocative and elegant writer of startling power, her gifts for characterization, atmosphere, narrative, and rich moral drama marking her as a new star in her own right.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Intricately plotted, beautifully paced, The Music of the Spheres is an elegant historical novel, rich in detail, at times Dickensian in its description of London. Elizabeth Redfern has made an exciting debut.” 

    Martha Grimes, New York Times bestselling author

  • “The complex narrative is brilliantly handled to keep the reader guessing right to the end, [with] some ingenious surprises along the way. The colorful background is an atmospheric and evocative re-creation of London in the 1790s, with all the complex political and diplomatic intrigues of that wartime era.” 

    Charles Palliser, author of The Quincux

  • “A historical thriller in the vein of Caleb Carr and Iain Pears…There are vivid touches of atmosphere, some strong detail on contemporary astronomy, and some of the moral dilemmas are piercing.” 

    Publishers Weekly

  • “A complex story of plot and counterplot surrounding the murders of red-haired young prostitutes, the French Revolution and all its political machinations, and the search for the missing planet that astronomers conjecture must lie between Mars and Jupiter…Read with an exceptional number of well-done voices and accents by Tim Curry…Recommended.” 

    Library Journal

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maria | 2/14/2014

    " This was certainly an interesting book. I liked the background setting, 1795, London, the war with France and astronomers, which is something I have never read about before in a fictional book. I am always uncomfortable with sexual situations, but just try to skip over them and get to the meat of the book. It held my attention and that's all it takes, but it's not on my list of favorite books or something I would recommend. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Brittany | 2/5/2014

    " I have to admit that I didn't finish this book. Or if I did it was so unremarkable I don't remember it. I thought the Selena theme could have been handled so much better, as well as the Jack the Ripper-type bits. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sylvia | 1/30/2014

    " Cover art claims "Reminiscent of Caleb Carr's The Alienist". Bah. Doesn't have the power nor does it provide the insight to that interesting time in history that Carr's book does. Murderer targets red-haired ladies of the evening while naive astronomer is used by military spies. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Bnschmid | 1/25/2014

    " I was not impressed with this book.Too much buggery of small children and other heinous acts thought to be acceptable in the 1700's.Also,people didn't bathe back then,and I don't want to be reminded of stanky twankers...shiver... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Yolanda | 1/14/2014

    " This is a great novel that you just can't put down.I wanted to give it 4.5 stars,but the .5 did not work?? super reading "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mick | 12/31/2013

    " Overall the book was good. However, there were several "detours" that seemed off course. In other words, the additional material added nothing to the story line. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cindy | 12/20/2013

    " Beautiful, apt title; touched upon interesting topics - astronomy and a fairly rarely (at least to my knowledge) chapter in French Revolution history; but oh-so-dark, with characters rather too gothic and a plot and mood unremittingly grim; slow pacing for way too long... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 emily | 12/15/2013

    " not a usual typical mystery reader...unsuprising ending. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Catherine | 12/5/2013

    " un bon moment "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Amy | 11/28/2013

    " The beginning of this book really grabbed me with its mystery and detailed descriptions along with evoking vocabulary; however, the story began to drag on and lose my interest. I think more editing would have helped (too many details for me). "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stephanie | 11/13/2013

    " Excellent book and I'm glad I finally remembered the name! This was a very dark read, a side of London we don't always hear about. Ms. Redfern is a quality storyteller, I'm looking forward to reading more from her. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John Carter McKnight | 11/10/2013

    " A very dark study of betrayal, espionage and murder in 1795 London. Not my usual thing, but well done: evocative of the period, twisty, harrowing and grim. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ginny | 11/7/2013

    " Historical fiction, similar to The Coffee Trader, set in London. A murder mystery with spies and starwatchers. Rated R. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Measi | 9/23/2013

    " A casual serial killer whodunnit that shows a lot of promise at the beginning, but somehow falls flat at the end. I loved the setting and thought the characters were interesting, but the pace wasn't quite right. I wouldn't pick it up at full price. good for a library read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jane | 7/7/2013

    " Interesting plot, but poorly written. Main character lacks appeal / is frankly boring. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jasmine | 3/16/2013

    " Very good!! Some of the war details bored me, but not as terribly as some!!! Great pick at the book fair once again!!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 LuAnn | 1/26/2013

    " Excellent!!! I expect Ms. Redfern will be on several awards lists for this one. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Fawn | 2/23/2012

    " This isn't the sort of thing I normally read, but it was competently crafted and well done. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Adrian Paulie | 9/27/2011

    " Wonderful. French spies. Red headed whores. Stars. War between French and British. More spies. It was awesome. lol "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 KeAnne | 4/4/2011

    " It was ok. Very grim and dark and a little hard to follow. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jasmine | 3/4/2011

    " Very good!! Some of the war details bored me, but not as terribly as some!!! Great pick at the book fair once again!!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 LuAnn | 1/5/2011

    " Excellent!!! I expect Ms. Redfern will be on several awards lists for this one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John Carter | 10/7/2010

    " A very dark study of betrayal, espionage and murder in 1795 London. Not my usual thing, but well done: evocative of the period, twisty, harrowing and grim. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Laura | 8/25/2010

    " Just arrived from States through BM.

    3,5 stars. This book is a mixture of historical mystery and astronomy research in the 18th century, a quite interesting plot. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chelsea | 11/4/2009

    " I enjoyed this. It was well paced an nicely evocative of the era. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sylvia | 9/6/2009

    " Cover art claims "Reminiscent of Caleb Carr's The Alienist". Bah. Doesn't have the power nor does it provide the insight to that interesting time in history that Carr's book does. Murderer targets red-haired ladies of the evening while naive astronomer is used by military spies. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Fawn | 5/10/2009

    " This isn't the sort of thing I normally read, but it was competently crafted and well done. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Yolanda | 5/2/2009

    " This is a great novel that you just can't put down.I wanted to give it 4.5 stars,but the .5 did not work?? super reading "

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About the Author

Elizabeth Redfern is a former librarian and lecturer and now the author of several novels. She has been active in community projects, including skills training for unemployed workers and adult education teaching with the Derbyshire County Council in England. 

About the Narrator

Tim Curry has created a rich array of memorable characters for both the screen and stage, most notably the role of the scientist in the Broadway and film versions of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. He’s been nominated for Tony Awards for his roles in My Favorite Year and The Pirates of Penzance. His film credits include Muppet Treasure Island, The Shadow, Clue, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, The Three Musketeers, and many, many more.