The Composer Is Dead

by Lemony Snicket and Carson Ellis

With characteristic cleverness and sly wit, author Lemony Snicket examines the instruments... read more

With characteristic cleverness and sly wit, author Lemony Snicket examines the instruments in the orchestra in an informative and investigative way. This musical murder mystery offers a symphony of satire and pitch-perfect humor. From the opening page, readers learn that the Composer is dead. “He was not humming. He was not moving, or even breathing.” A pen and watercolor illustration shows a fancy-dressed, white-curly wig-wearing man face-down in a stack of scores while flies buzz overhead. Wry and outrageous observations abound as a finger-pointing Inspector interrogates the instruments about the Composer’s murder. Questioning the Cellos and Basses, he surmises their anger over playing boring compositions. “ 'On the contrary,’ the Cellos and Basses said. 'We don’t feel the need to show off like certain stringed instruments we could mention.’ ” Amusing personifications provide a façade for an introductory lesson on who’s who (and whodunit) in the orchestra. An accompanying CD features Lemony Snicket narrating the tale with full musical accompaniment. (Ages 8–15)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2010

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